New Mexico DWI Laws & Penalties

New Mexico DWI law statute 66-8-102 states that it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or any combination thereof with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater to operate a motor vehicle in the state of New Mexico.

It is not necessary for a person who is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in New Mexico to show the typical signs of impairment one would expect to see in someone who has been consuming alcohol or drugs, just the fact that that person's BAC level is above the legal limit of .08% or greater will get you arrested for a DWI offense in New Mexico.

A person can still be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in New Mexico even if their BAC level is below the legal limit just by displaying signs of impairment that are consistent with driving while intoxicated.



Even before an officer stops someone on suspicion of DWI, the officer is already starting to build a case against that individual starting with observing the individual's driving behavior prior to initiating a DWI stop.  The officer is going to be observing whether or not you are swerving within your own lane or whether or not you are swerving over the lane markers.

He will also be looking for other signs like excessively wide turns, how you are maintaining your speed versus the posted speed limit and other various observations.  All of this is going on even before the officer initiates a DWI stop.

When you are stopped on suspicion of DWI the officer is going to ask you to perform what they term as some simple field sobriety tests (these tests are difficult for a person who has not consumed any alcohol to get right).  It should be noted that you are not required by law to submit to the field sobriety tests.

You are however, required by New Mexico's implied consent law to submit to a chemical test.  If you refuse to submit to a chemical test the arresting officer must inform you of the penalties for a test refusal and then ask you a second time if you will submit to a chemical test.  Failure to submit to a chemical test will result in an automatic minimum 1-year revocation of your driving privileges and you will not be eligible for a limited license or work permit.

Every driver who holds a New Mexico driver's license has agreed to the states implied consent law when they initially accepted their New Mexico driver's license.  Basically the implied consent law says that if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence you shall submit to a chemical test to check for alcohol, drugs or intoxicants in your body.

New Mexico Administrative License Revocation Process

Whether you submitted to a chemical test or you failed the chemical test for being over the legal limit the arresting officer will immediately confiscate your driver's license and issue you a "Notice of Revocation".  From the date of your arrest you only have 10 days in which to request an administrative hearing if you wish to challenge the revocation of your license and try to retain your driving privileges.

It should be noted that the administrative actions taken against your driver's license is a completely separate issue from the criminal charges you will be facing in court for driving while intoxicated.  The actual revocation of your driver's license will take effect within 20 days from the date of your arrest.

To request an administrative hearing you or your lawyer will need to file a written request for an administrative hearing accompanied by a $25 hearing fee and mail it to:

Motor Vehicle Division
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department
Joseph M. Montoya Building
P.O. Box 1028
Sante Fe, New Mexico 87504

Attn: Administrative Hearings

If you fail to enclose the $25 hearing fee, you will not be eligible for a hearing and the revocation of your license will stand.  Hearings are typically held within 90 days of the "Notice of Revocation" you received by the arresting officer and the purpose of the hearing will be to determine the following items:

  • Did the officer have reasonable grounds to initially pull you over?
  • Did the officer actually place you under arrest?
  • Did you receive your hearing within 90 days of the Notice of Revocation?
  • If you refused a chemical test, did the arresting officer inform you that you would lose your license for a period of 1-year for a test refusal?
  • If you submitted to a chemical test, was it properly administered and you did in fact have BAC above the legal limit?

These will be the only issues discussed at the administrative hearing.

The hearing officer will review the evidence present by the arresting officer against you and the evidence presented by you and your attorney in your favor.  Testimony under oath will be heard by the arresting officer regarding the items listed above.  You and your lawyer will then be able to testify regarding the items listed above.

The hearing officer will then make their decision as to whether or not the revocation of your driver's license was justified and if the ruling is that the revocation was not justified, your license will be reinstated.  If the hearing officer rules that the revocation of your license was justified, the revocation will stand.

On a first offense violation you will be eligible for a limited license that will allow you to drive to and from school or work only (no other destinations) after the first 30 days of your 6-month revocation have passed.  In order to receive a limited license you must first register with a state approved DWI school along with an approved alcohol treatment program.

You will have to pay a $45 limited license fee along with providing the MVD with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Mexico SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability limits.

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New Mexico First Offense DWI

A New Mexico first offense DWI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A first offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A first offense conviction will result in a jail sentence of up to a maximum of 90 days.  If there were Aggravating circumstances the minimum jail sentence will be 48 consecutive hours and will not be suspended by the court.  The actual jail sentence beyond the minimum sentence for an Aggravated offense will be at the court's discretion.
  • Fines: There is no mandatory minimum fine for a first offense other than associated court costs.
  • Community service: You will be required to perform 48 hours of community service for a first offense and pay a $300 fee.
  • Alcohol assessment: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program.  You will be responsible for all the fees associated with the program.
  • Test refusal: A first offense refusal will result in a 1 year license revocation.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 1 year for first offenders.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for up to 1 year following a first offense.  First time offenders may be eligible for a limited license after the first 30 days of the revocation period has lapsed. In order to receive a limited license you must enroll in a state approved DWI school, register for a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program, pay a $45 limited license fee to the MVD and provide the MVD with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Mexico SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability limits. You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.

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New Mexico Second Offense DWI

A New Mexico second offense DWI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A second offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A second offense conviction will result in a minimum jail sentence of 96-hours up to a maximum of 364 days.  Any jail term may be suspended in lieu of a term of probation up to 5 years.
  • Fines: There is a $500 mandatory fine up to a maximum of $1,000 plus all court costs.
  • Community service: You will be required to perform 48 hours of community service for a second offense.
  • Alcohol assessment: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program.  You will be responsible for all the fees associated with the program.
  • Test refusal: A second offense refusal will result in a 1 year license revocation.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 2 years for second offenders.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for 2 years following a second offense conviction.  In order to reinstate your license following your revocation period you must enroll in a state approved DWI school, register for a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program, pay a license reinstatement fee to the MVD and provide the MVD with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Mexico SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability limits.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again. You may be eligible for a limited once 5-years have passed since your last conviction.

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New Mexico Third Offense DWI

A New Mexico third offense DWI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A third offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A third offense conviction will result in a minimum jail sentence of 30 days up to a maximum of 364 days.  Any jail term may be suspended in lieu of a term of probation up to 5 years.
  • Fines: There is a $750 mandatory fine up to a maximum of $1,000 plus all court costs.
  • Community service: You will be required to perform 96 hours of community service for a third offense and pay a $750 fee.
  • Alcohol assessment: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program.  You will be responsible for all the fees associated with the program.
  • Test refusal: A third offense refusal will result in a 1 year license revocation.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 3 years for third offenders.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for 3 years following a third offense conviction.  In order to reinstate your license following your revocation period you must enroll in a state approved DWI school, register for a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program, pay a license reinstatement fee to the MVD and provide the MVD with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Mexico SR-22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability limits.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.  You may be eligible for a limited once 5-years have passed since your last conviction.

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New Mexico Fourth Offense DWI

A New Mexico fourth offense DWI is a Fourth Degree Felony offense.  A fourth offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A fourth offense will result in a mandatory 6 months imprisonment up to a maximum of 18 months imprisonment.
  • Fines: The fine amount for a fourth offense will be up to $5,000 plus court costs.
  • Alcohol assessment: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program.  You will be responsible for all the fees associated with the program.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 5 years for fourth offenders. A court review will be required for removal.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for life following a fourth offense conviction.  You will be eligible for a court review after 5 years.  In order to reinstate your license following your revocation period you must enroll in a state approved DWI school, register for a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program, pay a license reinstatement fee to the MVD and provide the MVD with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability limits.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.

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New Mexico Fifth Offense DWI

A New Mexico fifth offense DWI is a Fourth Degree Felony offense.  A fifth offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A fifth offense will result in a mandatory of 1 year imprisonment up to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment.
  • Fines: The fine amount for a fifth offense will be up to $5,000 plus court costs.
  • Alcohol assessment: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program.  You will be responsible for all the fees associated with the program.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 5 years for fourth offenders. A court review will be required for removal.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for life following a fifth offense conviction.  You will be eligible for a court review after 5-years.  In order to reinstate your license following your revocation period you must enroll in a state approved DWI school, register for a state approved alcohol and drug assessment program, pay a license reinstatement fee to the MVD and provide the MVD with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New Mexico SR22 policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability limits.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.

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New Mexico CDL DWI

A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of New Mexico while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test will be arrested for DWI and your CDL will be revoked for a period of 1-year following a first offense violation.

If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years. A second offense violation will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again.  A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

New Mexico DWI Under 21 Years of Age

Your license may be revoked for 1-year for a first or suspended or revoked at the court's discretion for a second or subsequent violations with a blood alcohol concentration between .02% and .08%.

If a person under 21 is arrested for having a BAC of .08% or greater they will face the same charges as someone over 21 would be facing for the same offense.

New Mexico SR22 Requirements

Before the New Mexico MVD will reinstate your license following your revocation period, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your New Mexico SR22 insurance coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the New Mexico MVD of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the New Mexico MVD will immediately revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the MVD before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of New Mexico and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in New Mexico for any less.Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other New Mexico DWI Resources

  • New Mexico First Offense DWI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DWI classes, and much more.

  • New Mexico SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about NM's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • New Mexico DWI Education - We offer a complete listing of state approved DWI education classes listed by County.

  • New Mexico Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of NM's bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.