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Drunk Driving Accidents in Albuquerque: What You Should Know

Drunk Driving Accidents in Albuquerque: What You Should Know

Shapiro Law Team June 1, 2023 Car Accidents,Personal injury

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.

What Is Drinking and Driving?

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.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

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.

The Problem With DWIs in New Mexico

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.

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New Mexico’s Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Laws

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.

1. Penalties for a First-Offense DUI//DWI

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:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $500
  • At least 24 hours of community service
  • License revocation

2. Penalties for a Second and Third-Offense DUI//DWI

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:

  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Mandatory jail time of four to eight days
  • Increased community service

The same penalties apply for third offenses—however, there is mandatory jail time of 30 to 90 days, including increased community service.

3. When a DUI/DWI Becomes a Felony in Albuquerque

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.

Who Can Be Liable in a Drunk Driving Case?

Contrary to popular belief, more than one party can be held liable in a drunk driving case. These include the driver themselves and those who provided the alcohol. Each drunk driving case is different, which is why our team can help you navigate through the confusion of how to pursue the liable parties.

What to Do If You Get Hurt in a DWI Accident

If you get hurt by a drunk driver in Albuquerque, you might be able to file a personal injury claim. Here’s how:
  • Call the Police: Call the police right away so they can investigate the accident. They may be able to collect a blood sample or urine test that shows the driver was drunk at the time of the accident.
  • Gather Evidence: In addition to obtaining a blood sample or urine test, you should gather as many photos from the scene. Remember to get contact information from any witnesses.
  • Go to the Doctor: Go to the doctor regardless of how minor the accident was to receive any necessary treatments.
  • Collect Documentation: Collect and save your medical records, proof of income, and any other documents related to the crash.
  • Avoid Sharing Information: Don’t talk about the accident until you speak with an attorney. Yes, this includes parties involved in the crash.
  • Contact Shapiro Law Team: Get legal advice from a trusted car accident lawyer at Shapiro Law Team.

How You Can Avoid and Prevent DWIs

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.

Injured in a DWI Accident in Albuquerque? Shapiro Law Team Can Help

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.

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