In the state of New Mexico, a driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if he or she operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater. This limit drops to .04 percent for commercial drivers and .02 percent for drivers under 21. Drivers can also be convicted of New Mexico DWI penalties solely on the observations of an arresting officer.
DWI is a misdemeanor for the first three convictions. The fourth and subsequent convictions (within a period of 10 years) become felony charges.
Penalties for a 1st DWI Offense
A first DWI offense in New Mexico carries a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a driver’s license suspension of up to one year and possible mandatory use of an ignition interlock device (in the case a restricted license is issued) for up to one year. DWI school is also mandatory. At a judge’s discretion a driver may also be ordered to perform community service and attend alcohol evaluation and treatment.
Penalties for a 2nd DWI Offense
A second DWI offense within 10 years carries a jail sentence of 96 hours to one year. Fines range from $500 to $1,000, and one’s driver’s license can be suspended for up to two years. It is possible to be issued a temporary restricted license for use during the suspension, but any such license will require the use of an ignition interlock device on any vehicles the defendant drives. The defendant may also be sentenced to community service, alcohol evaluation and treatment and up to five years of probation.
Penalties for a 3rd DWI Offense
A third DWI offense within 10 years ups the mandatory minimum jail sentence to 30 days. The maximum jail sentence is still one year. The minimum fine increases to $750 with the maximum continuing to be $1,000. The potential license suspension increases to three years. A temporary restricted license (with ignition interlock device) may still be obtained for the period of suspension. Alcohol evaluation and treatment and community service may be still be ordered by a judge. Up to five years of probation may also be ordered.
Penalties for a 4th DWI Offense
Upon a fourth conviction within a period of 10 years, a DWI charge becomes a felony. This comes with a prison sentence of six to 18 months. The minimum fine is $5,000 and can be increased at a judge’s discretion. The driver’s license is indefinitely suspended with no chance of review for a minimum of five years. If the driver’s license is reinstated an ignition interlock device will be mandatory for life. Alcohol evaluation and treatment will also be mandatory.
Penalties for a 5th DWI Offense
A fifth conviction increases the prison sentence from one to two years. The New Mexico DWI penalties are otherwise the same as those that come along with a fourth conviction, but a chance of successful reinstatement of the driver’s license after five years is greatly reduced.