What is New Mexico’s Implied Consent Law?
In New Mexico, if you are pulled over for suspected DUI driving and the officer requests that you take a blood or breath test, then you may wonder if you have the right to refuse this test. But, what happens if you do refuse to take it? Under New Mexico law, there is an implied consent, which could mean mandatory penalties if you refuse to take a chemical test.
What is the Implied Consent Law?
In the state, the law requires that you submit to a blood or breath test if you are arrested for a DWI/DUI. This implied consent law states that if you are lawfully arrested by law enforcement and they have probable cause to suspect that you are driving under the influence, then you must consent to taking a chemical test for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer will get to choose which type of test that you take, and the test must be administered within three hours of your last driving episode (New Mexico Statute 66-8-107).
What Happens If I Refuse the Test?
After an arrest for a DUI, you have the right to additional tests by a medical professional of your choice. The state will pay for those tests. The officer must advise you of your test results, as well as other pertinent information about your test – but only if you ask for it. Also, the officer must tell you that your driver’s license will be suspended for one year if you refuse to take the test – so that you are aware of the consequences.
If you choose to refuse to take the chemical test, then there are penalties that you could face, including a one-year license revocation for your first and subsequent refusals. While you cannot be forced to take a chemical test, that does not mean that you will not be charged with a DUI. The prosecution may decide to take your case to court, regardless of whether they have chemical results.
It is true, however, that a lack of chemical test results will make it more difficult for the prosecution to convict you of a DUI/DWI. But, the prosecutor only needs to show that you were impaired to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol.
For a first DUI offense, you could still spend several days in jail, face fines of up to $500, and your driver’s license could be suspended for six months. You may also be required to complete community service hours, or even an alcohol counseling program.
Get Assistance with Your DWI/DUI Arrest
Do not resist a chemical test. Instead, request that you have legal counsel present and explore your options before you accept or deny your blood or breath test. An attorney can advise you of your rights and help you decide if the refusal is worth the penalty associated with it. If you have been arrested for a DUI in New Mexico, contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today. Our DUI attorneys can assist you with your case. Schedule a free case evaluation now by calling us at 505-375-4767, or fill out our online contact form with your questions.