New Mexico Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties

Learn about the penalties for first, second, and third DUI in New Mexico.

New Mexico prohibits a person from driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle under any of the following conditions:

  • while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor
  • while under the influence of any drug that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle, or
  • with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater (.04% or more if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle).

The volume of alcohol necessary to reach certain BAC levels—or impairment—can differ depending on numerous factors, including the person’s size and the type of drink. Our BAC calculator and BAC table can give you an estimate of what your BAC might be after a specific number of drinks. However, it is always best not to drive if you have consumed any alcohol or impairing drugs.

New Mexico DUI Penalties

When a person is convicted of a DUI, the judge decides how much jail time and fines to impose but must adhere to statutory limitations. These limitations depend on the circumstances of the offense and the number of prior convictions the person has.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

Up to 90 days

96 hours to 364 days

30 to 364 days

Fines

Up to $500

$500 to $1,000

$750 to $1,000

Community Service

24 hours

48 hours minimum

96 hours minimum

Substance abuse programs. All DUI offenders are required to complete a substance abuse screening. Based on the results of the screening, the judge determines the appropriate substance abuse treatment program. At a minimum, a first- DUI offender must take a DUI educational course. A second or third offender must complete a 28-day inpatient course or other court-approved treatment.

Aggravated DUI. If the DUI involved an injury accident or the driver’s BAC was .16% or greater, the offense will be considered an “aggravated DUI.” Aggravated status will increase the mandatory jail time by 48 hours for a first offense, 96 hours for a second offense, and 60 days for a third offense.

Driver’s License Sanctions

A New Mexico DUI can affect a person’s driving privileges at two different stages—once at the time of arrest and a second time after conviction in criminal court.

Testing and DUI arrests. Drivers who are lawfully arrested for a DUI are required by New Mexico’s “implied consent” laws to submit to BAC testing. Drivers who produce a BAC over the legal limit will have their driver’s license immediately seized and subsequently revoked for six months on a first offense and one year for a second or subsequent offense. A refusal of testing can also result in a one-year revocation. These revocations that follow a DUI arrest come from the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). (However, drivers can challenge the revocation by requesting an “administrative per se hearing.”)

A driver with a revoked license may be eligible for an ignition interlock license, which permits the person to drive only with an ignition interlock device (IID). However, this license is not permitted for those who refused testing.

Criminal DUI convictions. A DUI conviction in criminal court will result in the following license-related consequences.

  • First offense. A first DUI conviction results in a one-year license revocation and one-year IID requirement following the revocation period
  • Second offense. A second DUI conviction results in a two-year license revocation and a two-year IID requirement following the revocation period, and
  • Third offense. A third DUI conviction results in a three-year license revocation and a three-year IID requirement following the revocation period.

The revocation periods for criminal convictions generally are not in addition to the arrest-related revocation; the arrest-related revocation is typically credited against the conviction-related revocation.

Underage DUI

New Mexico does not have a separate crime for persons under 21 years of age. However, a person under 21 years old who produces a BAC of .02% or more while driving will have their driver’s license suspended for one year.

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