Unfortunately, every year thousands of people lose their lives to drunk driving accidents. It doesn’t take much alcohol to alter your response time or ability to drive. Every state has strict laws and penalties for drunk driving, yet some people still ignore them.
However, the penalties aren’t even close to the worst thing that can happen when someone drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving cases in New Mexico can end in major injury, property destruction, or even death.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that over 11,000 people in the U.S. died of alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2020. Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to make decisions, react to road conditions, and your muscle coordination. You need all of these things to drive—even if it’s just down the road.
In New Mexico, excessive alcohol consumption has left countless families in despair. On average, five people died from alcohol-related causes in New Mexico in 2020. New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate is double the national average.
While not all of these deaths are due to drunk driving, New Mexican’s habit of drinking excessively can easily contribute to those numbers. It only takes a few drinks to get your blood alcohol level to a dangerous point.
Some states refer to drunk driving as either driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). New Mexico uses DWI, and those who are found guilty can face serious penalties. Guilty parties typically face large fines, court fees, and possible jail time. They’ll also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in their car. This system requires the convicted person to blow into a breathalyzer before they can turn on the vehicle.
DWI convictions may result in getting your license revoked. Additional DWI convictions will mean larger fines, a higher chance of serving jail time, and a longer license revocation period. A DWI can stay on your driving record for 55 years. Always think before getting behind the wheel after any amount of alcohol.
New Mexico is sadly known for having one of the highest rates of drunk driving fatalities. Data from the NHTSA showed that New Mexico’s rate of impaired driving fatalities was 5.74 per 100,000. This is the fourth-highest rate in the entire nation.
These deaths are 100% preventable. It just takes enough awareness and understanding of the full consequences of DWI to change those numbers.
Death is the worst outcome of a drunk driving case in New Mexico. Whether it’s the impaired driver, a pedestrian on the road, or another driver on the roadway, they are all tragic. However, death is not the only consequence. Here’s what drunk drivers could face if they are arrested and convicted of DWI.
Those are the consequences if found guilty of a first-time misdemeanor DWI. Each penalty rises as more convictions stack up and depending on the severity of damages caused.
New Mexican men are at higher risk of death related to drug or alcohol causes. According to a study done by Syracuse University, 41.7 out of every 100,000 men in the state die due to drugs or alcohol-related causes. For women, that number is 19.6.
There is work to be done to help lower those numbers. One of the best things you can do to help is to encourage those around you to make a plan for how they will travel if they know they will be drinking. Whether it’s using public transportation, designating a sober driver, or using a ride-share service, there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Have you or someone in your family been involved in a car crash due to drunk driving or any other reason? Drunk driving cases in New Mexico can be tragic, leaving you feeling hopeless and hurt. In your time of need, you should reach out to Shapiro Law Team. We have the experience and compassion necessary to help you and your family recover from losses.
We know this can be a difficult time for you, but getting the process started with an attorney will give you the best chance at getting your life back on track. Call us today to discuss your case and how we can help you get the full compensation you deserve.