DWI Prevention

Preventing DWI in New Mexico

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is the act of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In New Mexico, alcohol intoxication constitutes a common, but preventable, cause of traffic crashes. Alcohol is involved in 40-percent of all fatal traffic crashes in New Mexico which makes alcohol-related traffic fatalities the single largest factor in this state’s traffic deaths.

In spite of making significant progress toward reducing DWI crashes, intoxicated drivers continue to plague New Mexico’s highways and roads.

The Law

You are in violation of New Mexico’s DWI laws when you drive a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol content of .08% or higher, or by driving while impaired due to the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A DWI conviction can have both civic and financial consequences. New Mexico drunk driving criminal court cases can result in punishment that includes jail time, fines, mandatory DWI educational programs, ignition interlock devices, and more. A DWI conviction may result in a driver’s license suspension from 90 days to one year or more.

A first offense penalty for DWI in New Mexico is punishable with up to 90 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, or both, and approximately $200 in court costs. You may also be forced to attend a first offenders program (sometime referred to as DWI School), alcohol screening with counseling; perform community service, attend the victim impact panel; and/or serve probation resulting in fees of about $150.

If your first drunk driving offense is an aggravated DWI, a minimum of 48 hours in jail is mandatory in addition to the other penalties. Aggravated DWI includes driving with an alcohol level of .16% or greater, causing bodily injury while DWI, or refusing to submit to a chemical test while DWI.

What You Can Do To Help

The Drunk Busters Hotline is a cross-government effort involving NM State Police, the Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Office, and local and county police. It is a program which allows good drivers on New Mexico’s roads and highways to quickly and effectively report suspected DWI drivers through the use of a toll-free number, or cell phone convenience key.

Since its inception in January 2006, Drunk Busters has met with favorable results. The program’s success is due largely to continued public awareness and involvement. To learn more about the program and how you can contribute, visit the Drunk Busters web page.