For a 2nd or 3rd DWI/DUI in New Mexico, the penalties and consequences grow increasingly more severe.  In addition to increases on all of the mandatory conditions for a first time DWI/DUI, there are mandatory jail sentences for subsequent DWI/DUI convictions.

In order to be charged with a 2nd or subsequent DWI/DUI, the prosecutor must prove that you have been convicted of the prior DWI(s).  A prior arrest for DWI/DUI is insufficient for the charge of a subsequent offense.  There must have been a conviction.  Therefore, if your prior DWI/DUI was dismissed or you were acquitted at trial, you may not be charged with the subsequent DWI/DUI.

Out of state convictions for DWI/DUI count as priors for purposes of the New Mexico DWI/DUI sentencing.  In addition, old DWI/DUI convictions will be counted as priors.  It does not matter how old they are.  They are still counted.  It is customary for a prosecutor and/or probation to check on prior DWI/DUI convictions in other states and for older convictions.  In addition, the Court may ask the defendant at sentencing whether the defendant has prior DWI/DUI convictions.  Any prior convictions, no matter when or where they occurred are used for sentencing enhancement.

For asecond DWI/DUI conviction, the mandatory minimum sentence is 96 hours in jail.  The mandatory minimum 24 hours of community service is increased to 48 hours.    Your driver‘s license will be revoked for 2 years with an ignition interlock required for two years instead of the one year on a first DWI/DUI.   Finally, probation may be increased from one year to five years at the discretion of the judge.  During the term of probation, all conditions for counseling, drug and alcohol testing, frequent contacts with probation, and other conditions will remain in effect.

For a third DWI/DUI conviction, the sentences are even greater:  30 days mandatory jail time, a mandatory $750 fine, 3 years license revocation with ignition interlock required during this time, minimum community service of 96 hours, and probation up to 5 years.  Again, these are in addition to all other standard conditions of DWI/DUI probation.

In addition to the criminal penalties, 2nd and 3rd DWI/DUI carry mandatory MVD consequences.  In each case, your license is automatically revoked for one year.  This is in addition and independent to the criminal revocation by the judge for a conviction of DWI/DUI.   As such, your license may be revoked for one year despite the fact that the DWI/DUI is later dismissed by the court or you are acquitted at trial.

Keep in mind also that these are mandatory minimum sentences.  The judge can impose harsher sentencing up to the maximum one year in jail.  In cases involving aggravated DWI/DUI, some judges will impose greater sentences despite any pleas to simple non-aggravated charges. This is particularly so in cases involving high breath alcohol scores.  More problematic for repeat DWI/DUI offenders, the definition of high breach alcohol scores may be construed differently by different judges.   In any event, repeat DWI/DUI offenders are treated very severely in the New Mexico courts.  With each additional DWI/DUI comes greater and more severe penalties.  Repeat DWI/DUI at your peril.

Aditional Reading on New Mexico DWI Issues from our DWI Blog