Although it is not unreasonable to enjoy a few drinks around the holidays, it is important to understand the penalties for drinking and driving in New Mexico.
Here is a short guide to consult the next time you consider drinking and driving.
Impact of “a few drinks” on your driving abilities
All too often, drivers involved in car accidents will claim they only had a “few drinks.” The idea that a limited amount of alcohol is not enough to impair your driving abilities is a common misconception.
No matter how little you drink, you are not immune to the effects of alcohol . Alcohol can impair your judgment, coordination, sight, focus, and reaction time. The more alcohol you consume, the more impaired you become, which is why all states have a legal limit when it comes to drinking and driving.
Blood alcohol concentration explained
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the measurement of how much alcohol is in your blood. There are many ways to test your BAC, but some are considered more reliable than others. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (DWI in New Mexico), you will be asked to submit to a breath or blood test to determine your BAC.
After taking a breath or blood test, your results will be determined in the form of a number. The number is a measurement of how many grams of alcohol exist in your blood at that moment and will show whether you are over the legal limit.
Legal limits in New Mexico
Certain BAC limits exist in New Mexico. The legal limit while driving is 0.08 if you are at least 21 years of age, 0.02 if you are under 21 years of age, and 0.04 if you are the driver of a commercial vehicle. If you test at or over these particular numbers, then you have been driving with a breath or blood alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit, which is a DWI offense.
Even if the breath or blood test shows that you have not exceeded the legal limit, you can still be charged with DWI. While driving with a breath or blood alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit is one DWI offense, there are others, including driving under the influence of alcohol or driving under the influence of drugs. For these two offenses, the officer can arrest you if he or she has probable cause that you were driving while impaired.
You may have heard the term DUI in relation to drunk driving offenses instead of DWI. DUI is the term used in many state laws, and is often used to talk about drunk driving charges in general terms; some states even use both DUI and DWI to refer to drunk driving offenses, depending on the particular charge. The use of acronyms varies from state to state, and the terms will have particular meanings within a given state’s legal code. In New Mexico, DWI is the term used for all drunk driving offenses, and if you’re convicted of DWI, you’ll be looking at a number of possible penalties, including fines, jail time, and other consequences that will have a negative effect on your driving record and your life in general.
If you get charged with DWI in New Mexico, you are in serious legal trouble and will want to talk to an experienced DWI attorney.
Safe to drive?
Alcohol can affect you in a variety of way regardless of how much you consume, and it can have an effect on your driving even if you’ve only had a drink or two. The effect that alcohol has on you will depend on your weight, your gender, your age, how fast you drink, and how much food you’ve consumed.
While it may not seem unreasonable for you to think to yourself, “I’ve only had a few drinks. I can drive home safely,” you might want to reconsider. The inconvenience of asking someone else for a ride home, or of finding a ride to your car the next day, are just that: inconvenient. You might decide that a few annoyances are worth it to avoid a possible DWI charge.
Whom to consult when legal trouble arises
If you find yourself facing legal trouble after an impaired driving incident, then contact Shaharazad McDowell Booth Law.
Whether you have been charged with DWI before or this is your first time facing charges, Shaharazad is here to offer assistance and answer your questions. Call our office to schedule your initial consultation.