Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents in the United States. Thousands of people lose their lives to those who get behind the wheel while impaired. Even though there are strict traffic laws and penalties set in place, many people drive drunk regardless of the consequences.
Unfortunately, New Mexico ranks among the worst states for drunk driving. If you or a loved one has been affected by drunk driving, this article is for you. Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of drunk driving, what to do if you get hurt, and how you can avoid DWIs.
Also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), drinking and driving refers to any driver who gets behind the wheel of a car or motorcycle after consuming alcohol.
In New Mexico, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle of any kind with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more. The BAC threshold lowers to .02 if you are under 21 years of age, and .04 if you drive a commercial motor vehicle. That being said, no amount of alcohol consumed before driving is safe.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, roughly 37 people die in drunk driving accidents every day. Alcohol impairs judgment, which can make drivers overly-confident in their abilities to operate a motor vehicle.
The dangers of drunk driving can range from slowed reaction times to poor overall coordination. Frequent lane changes and swerving are common hazards among drunk drivers. Coffee, fresh air, or cold showers will not sober a driver up—only time will.
If you plan on drinking, you should always have a designated driver or rideshare lined up beforehand.
New Mexico has a uniquely dangerous drinking and driving safety issue—and it shows in the data. As mentioned, New Mexico ranks as one of the worst states when it comes to drinking and driving.
According to recent data from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the total number of those involved in alcohol-related crashes rose in 2021. The number of fatalities are also at its highest level in a decade.
Death is the number one consequence of driving while intoxicated. However, being arrested for a DUI/DWI can lead to jail time and massive fines. Below are the penalties for first, second, third, and fourth-offense DWIs.
When it comes to first offenses, there is more slack granted by the justice system. This doesn’t mean that you will be off the hook for a drunk driving arrest. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you can expect the following:
As expected, the penalties for a second and third-offense DUI/DWI are more serious than a first-offense. For a second offense, you can expect the following penalties:
The same penalties apply for third offenses—however, there is mandatory jail time of 30 to 90 days, including increased community service.
Anything more than a fourth offense DUI/DWI leads to a felony conviction. This means that you will face mandatory jail time and compliance with strict probation requirements. The maximum imprisonment you can receive is up to 12 years.
A DWI conviction will remain on your driving record for 55 years.
Driving a motor vehicle is a major responsibility. If you plan to drink, drink plenty of water, and plan to travel with a designated driver or rideshare service.
Certain prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs can have negative effects when paired with alcohol. Ensure you double-check the label for any warnings.
Have you been involved in a drunk driving accident? A drunk driving accident is devastating for all parties involved. Reach out to Shapiro Law Team for the experience and compassion you need to get through this tragic event.
Get the process started and receive the legal advice you need by calling us today. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.