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How can a New Mexico DWI conviction affect someone’s ability to drive?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges are relatively common. People get arrested because they drive poorly or because they fail a chemical test after a collision. Those accused of intoxication while driving quickly worry about the potential impact those allegations could have on their daily lives. For example, someone accused of a DWI in New Mexico could lose their job if they must spend time in state custody. They could also experience financial and professional setbacks because they lose their ability to drive.

Driver’s license penalties are standard in DWI cases. Most people accused of an impaired driving offense are at risk of losing their licenses if they plead guilty or the courts convict them. Police officers usually take driver’s licenses when they arrest people for a DWI.

What are the potential licensing penalties for a DWI offense?

Lengthy license consequences are standard

Most judges do sentence people to licensing penalties in DWI cases. In fact, licensing consequences can occur automatically while someone has pending charges. Those arrested for DWI offenses may need to request a hearing if they hope to retain their driving privileges until after they go to trial. They have 20 days to act, and then they may also need to fight the charges they face to avoid a revocation.

The length of the license suspension reflects someone’s criminal record. A first DWI conviction carries a one-year license revocation, while a second offense leads to two years without driving privileges. A third DWI conviction could lead to a three-year license revocation. Anyone convicted of a fourth or subsequent DWI offense could lose their license for the rest of their life.

A license revocation is inconvenient

An individual without driving privileges is reliant on others to perform basic daily tasks, like getting to and from work. The cost of securing rideshare services or similar transportation alternatives can quickly become cost prohibitive. In some cases, people may not be able to perform job responsibilities, which could endanger their income. Responding assertively to the possibility of license revocation and defending against DWI allegations can potentially help someone mitigate the worst possible consequences after a DWI arrest.

Learning more about how New Mexico handles DWI cases may benefit those who regularly drink. Small mistakes, like failing to request a hearing about one’s driver’s license, can mean the difference between a life-altering criminal charge and exoneration.