Penalties for Underage DWI in New Mexico

Car key hanging from a beer bottleIn New Mexico, a minor (underage individual) could only possess alcohol legally in two instances — if they’re consuming wine for a religious ceremony or if they’re a non-alcohol selling, private property with the parent or guardian’s consent. Otherwise, it’s illegal for minors to possess or buy alcohol, especially if they’re driving.

Potential Consequences for DWI

Driving while impaired (DWI) laws are more severe for minor drivers. If you get stopped for suspected DWI, the allowable breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.02. If it’s your first DWI offense, you could have your licensed revoked and face up to 90 days in prison, which is the exact same penalties that a 21-year-old or adult would face even with a 0.08 BAC. The penalties could be even more severe if you refuse or fail the BAC test.

You could have other charges aside from DWI if your passengers are also drunk. The charges include alcohol distribution to minors, moving and vehicle maintenance violations, and child endangerment. If police officers find alcohol in your vehicle, you could be charged with soliciting alcohol and alcohol possession too. In addition, if you used a fake ID to buy alcohol, you could be charged with possessing fake identification.

Being charged with a DWI, it would have a significant impact on your insurance policy. While most insurance companies raise monthly payments for DWI convictions, Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer and other renowned juvenile attorneys in Albuquerque warns that some might revoke the insurance policy altogether.

The Bottom Line for DWI for in New Mexico

Violating DWI laws come with severe penalties, especially if you’re a minor. It’s also vital to note that if you’re younger than 18 and get charged with an alcohol violation, even if you weren’t driving, you could have your license or permit revoked or suspended for at least 90 days.

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If you don’t have your permit or license yet, then a violation like underage alcohol purchase or possession could even prohibit you from obtaining a license in the future. To that end, if you’re facing legal trouble due to underage DWI, consult an experienced lawyer to help keep your potential penalties as light as possible.