New Mexico’s DUI Implied Consent Laws and Alcohol Testing Requirements

The New Mexico requirement to submit to a blood or breath test and the penalties of a refusal.

When conducting DUI investigations, officers often request that the driver take a breath or blood test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the amount of drugs in the driver's system. The results are frequently used by prosecutors to prove a DUI in court.

New Mexico's DUI Implied Consent Law

New Mexico's "implied consent" law states that any person who operates a vehicle within the state is deemed to have consented to a breath or blood test. However, this requirement applies only if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Consequences of Refusing DUI Testing in New Mexico

Refusing a blood or breath test in New Mexico will result in license suspension and other consequences.

License Suspension for New Mexico Implied Consent Violations

Drivers who refuse to submit to a lawfully requested blood or breath test are looking at a one-year license revocation.

Drivers Who Refusing Testing in New Mexico Aren't Eligible for a Restricted License

Persons who refuse chemical testing are not eligible for the ignition interlock license—that allow the person to drive during the revocation period—normally available to DUI offenders.

A Refusal Can be Used Against a Driver in a DUI Trial

The absence of a valid chemical test result can make criminal prosecution more difficult. However, the fact that a driver refused to submit to testing can actually be used against him or her at trial. Refusal doesn't directly prove intoxication but can indicate consciousness of guilt. In other words, jurors might believe the driver refused the test to avoid detection.

Police May be Able to Get a Warrant for a Forced Blood Draw

Additionally, refusal of a chemical test does not always preclude further testing. In some situations, the officer can obtain a warrant and forcibly test the driver.

Talk to an Attorney

If you refused a chemical test in New Mexico, it's a good idea to get in touch with a DUI lawyer. The license revocation process is quick and complicated. A qualified DUI attorney can tell you how the law applies to your case and help you decide on the best course of action.

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