New Mexico DUI Laws and Penalties

The definition of “driving under the influence” and penalties for a DUI conviction in New Mexico.

New Mexico defines "driving under the influence" (DUI) as driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater
  • while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, or
  • while under the influence of any drug that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle.

In other words, a person can be convicted of a DUI based on an excessive BAC or for being actually impaired by drugs or alcohol.

New Mexico DUI Penalties

Everyone convicted of a DUI in New Mexico must complete a substance abuse screening. Generally, the judge will consider the results of the screening, the circumstances of the offense, and the number of prior DUI convictions in determining the final sentence. However, the judge is required to keep penalties within the following parameters.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


90 days maximum

96 hours to 364 days

30 to 364 days


$500 maximum

$500 to $1,000

$750 to $1,000

Community Service

24 hours minimum

48 hours minimum

96 hours minimum

Aggravated offenses. DUIs involving an injury accident or a BAC of .16% or greater are considered "aggravated DUIs." For aggravated offenses, there are an additional 48 hours of mandatory jail added to a first offense, 96 hours of mandatory jail added to a second offense, and 60 days of mandatory jail added to a third offense.

Rehabilitation. On all DUI convictions, judges are required to order some sort of rehabilitative treatment. For a first offense, this must include a DUI education course at a minimum. However, for subsequent offenses, the convicted person must complete at least 28 days of inpatient treatment or a similar court-approved treatment program.

License-Related Penalties

Drivers suspected of DUI also face administrative Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) penalties.

Drivers arrested for driving under the influence who test with a BAC of .08% or more, or who unlawfully refuse testing, face license suspension. For a first offense, the MVD will revoke the driver's license for six months. And for a refusal or second offense where the driver tests at .08% or more, there's a one-year revocation imposed by the MVD.

Drivers who are ultimately convicted in criminal court of a DUI are looking at additional license-related penalties. Generally, the judge will impose a revocation followed by a period where the driver must drive only with an ignition interlock device (IID). For a first offense, the revocation is one year and the IID requirement is one year. A second offense carries a two-year revocation and a two-year IID requirement. And for a third offense, there's a three-year revocation and a three-year IID period.

Underage DUI

In New Mexico, motorists who are under the age 21 are prohibited from driving with a BAC of .02% or more. A violation where the driver's BAC was at least .02% and less than .08% isn't a crime but will result in a one-year license suspension from the MVD.

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