Imagine you’re arrested for drunk driving in New Mexico. You head to court with a lawyer in tow and given your evidence, you have your case dismissed. That should be the end of your driving while intoxicated (DWI) nightmare, right?
In some cases, you’d be wrong, and that’s one of the unique things that can happen when you’re charged for drunk driving in New Mexico. At least that’s what one man found out when he went to court, had his DWI case thrown out, and was required to install an ignition interlock anyway.
Yes, you can still be required to install an ignition interlock, even if you’re not convicted of drunk driving in New Mexico. That’s because New Mexico has what’s known as a two-track system: the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) and the courts are separate and both have authority to revoke your driver’s license.
In this man’s case, the court didn’t revoke his license or require him to install an ignition interlock, but the New Mexico MVD. According to New Mexico drunk driving laws, the MVD is notified by the police after your arrest. When that happens, they revoke your driver’s license for up to one year. This is separate from the court system, and it’s because New Mexico has an Implied Consent Law.
Implied Consent means if you applied for and accepted a driver’s license in New Mexico, you agree to not drink and drive. If you do, they can revoke that license for one year or longer, and they can require you to install an ignition interlock device, even if the court doesn’t.
This man learned the hard way that even if you win, when you drink and drive, you can still lose. At least New Mexico roads will be safer thanks to this two-track system.