Driving while intoxicated is commonly referred to as DWI. In New Mexico, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with while impaired or intoxicated. According to state law, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher makes an adult too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle. The state considered 21 years old as the age of an adult driver.
This means that if a driver is under the age of 21 years old, they have a different BAC level. If they have a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher, they are too intoxicated to drive. A driver, regardless of their age, operating a commercial vehicle has a different BAC level. Their BAC level can’t be at or over 0.04 percent.
DWI Conviction is a Misdemeanor in Most Cases
A first time DWI charge is a misdemeanor in the state. For example, many people face six months to one year license suspension, if convicted. They could face about 90 days in jail. They could also be forced to install a mandatory ignition interlock device on their vehicle for one year. Community service and DWI school could also be part of their criminal sentence.
A second DWI charge could also be a misdemeanor. However, the penalties for this misdemeanor are harsher. License revocation could last for two years. They could go to county jail for one year. However, mandatory lock up is required for 96 hours. They must pay fines that may total $1,000. Ignition interlock, community service and alcohol evaluation may also be required for about two years.
A third DWI charge is generally a misdemeanor too. It has the most severe penalties of the three types of DWI misdemeanors. A person could lose their license for three years. They could spend one year in county jail. However, they will definitely spend 30 days in county jail. They face the same about of fines as with the second DWI conviction. They also may be placed on probation for five years. Any subsequent charges are considered a felony. Felonies have the toughest penalties.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney about a Misdemeanor DWI Charge
It is important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately when suspected or accused of misdemeanor DWI. Many people don’t know that they don’t have to have a BAC level that is over the limit to be convicted of DWI in New Mexico. Some people have been convicted of DWI when their breath or BAC level is below the legal limit. This occurs if prosecutors can prove that the person’s driving ability was impaired in the slightest degree because they consumed or ingested drugs or alcohol. That is why it is vital to hire an attorney to fight the misdemeanor DWI charge.