Consequences of Refusing a Chemical Test in New Mexico
All drivers in New Mexico are subject to the Implied Consent Act simply by driving in the state. Under the Implied Consent Act, you have consented to a chemical drug or alcohol test if you are driving in New Mexico and are arrested for an offense committed while suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Despite this fact, you do have the right to refuse a drug or alcohol chemical test, but consequences do apply.
What Happens If I Refuse a New Mexico Chemical Drug or Alcohol Test?
A police officer is allowed to arrest you for driving under the influence if he or she can prove that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by drugs or alcohol. If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, an officer will ask you to take a chemical test to determine the levels of drugs or alcohol in your body. Chemical tests can include:
- Breathalyzer tests
- Blood Tests
- Urine Tests
If any of these tests show that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08, you will be deemed to be driving “illegal per se.” Penalties for driving under the influence can include license suspension, fines, and jail time.
In some cases, it may be a better option to refuse the chemical test. This is because the penalty for refusing to take a chemical drug test is a 1-year license revocation. However, refusing to take a chemical test does not guarantee that you will not be convicted of a DUI. In fact, it is possible that your refusal to take the chemical test may result in a charge of Aggravated DWI/DUI. Penalties for Aggravated DWI/DUI charges (first offense) can include:
- Mandatory minimum of 48 hours of jail time
- 1-year license revocation
New Mexico Chemical Test Refusal Process
If you refuse to take a chemical drug test, the police officer must notify you that could lose your license. The officer will confiscate your license on the spot. You then have 20 days before the revocation takes effect. If you want to protest the revocation, you need to provide a written request for a revocation hearing within 10 days of your arrest. There is a small fee for the hearing, which may be waived if you provide a statement of indigency and are approved for the waiver. You will receive notice of your hearing, which will take place within 90 days.
Talk to an Experienced New Mexico DUI/DWI Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the penalties can be steep. Whether you’ve refused a chemical test, or have taken one and been charged with a DUI/DWI conviction, you need to talk with an experienced New Mexico criminal defense attorney. Contact the experts at the New Mexico Criminal Legal Offices today either online or at 505-200-2982 so we can walk you through the process.