When most people head out for an evening of fun, they don’t set out with the intention of ending the evening in handcuffs due to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrest. A lot of people are now using personal breathalyzers to try to stay under the legal limit of .08, but as many are finding out, in certain states you can be arrested for DWI even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under .08.
In New Mexico, police officers can arrest you for DWI if they feel you are impaired to the slightest degree. How do they decide if you’re impaired? Once stopped at a checkpoint or pulled over, an officer will speak to you and attempt to detect the scent of alcohol or look inside your vehicle for open containers. They may ask you to submit to field sobriety tests that include walking a straight line or reciting the alphabet, and if they feel they have cause, they’ll ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test. The results of the breathalyzer will determine exactly what your BAC is, and at that point, even if your BAC is lower than .08, the police officer may arrest you for DWI.
No matter what your BAC, if you are arrested and convicted of DWI in New Mexico, you’ll spend up to 90 days in jail, pay fines up to $500, lose your driver’s license for a period of one year, and must install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive.
Your personal breathalyzer might say you’re well below the legal limit of .08, but drinking any amount of alcohol makes it unsafe to drive a vehicle and could net you a DWI conviction. For more information on DWI and ignition interlock laws in New Mexico, visit Guardian Interlock’s New Mexico page.