What Is a Felony DUI in New Mexico?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

In New Mexico, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol. Generally, DUI convictions are misdemeanor criminal offenses. But certain aggravating factors can make a DUI a felony, a more serious crime.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in New Mexico.

Fourth DUI Conviction Is a Felony

Typically, a first, second, or third DUI conviction is a misdemeanor in New Mexico. But a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction is a felony.

A fourth DUI is a fourth-degree felony and carries six to 18 months in jail. A fifth conviction is still a fourth-degree felony but carries one to two years in jail.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

DUIs that result in "great bodily harm" to or the death of another person are felonies.

When a DUI involves great bodily harm, it's a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies of this type carry three years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence is considered "homicide by vehicle" and a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies involving deaths carry 15 years in prison and $12,500 in fines.

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