There is a stir in Santa Fe over the fact that two drivers involved in high profile DWI/DUI fatal accidents have kept their driver‘s licenses.
Carlos Fiero, a prominent lawyer and lobbyist in Santa Fe, is accused of vehicular homicide in the DWI/DUI related death of a Santa Fe man outside a popular Santa Fe bar. Scott Owens is accused of driving the wrong way on a Santa Fe road killing several teenagers in a head-one collision.
Both men still have their driver‘s licenses despite the mandatory MVD license revocation under New Mexico‘s Implied Consent Act. MVD and the sheriff‘s office both deny responsibility.
The Sheriff has indicated that the normal Notice of Revocation was not issued along with a DWI/DUI charge because the DWI/DUI charge might have somehow allowed the defendant‘s to walk in and plea guilty to the DWI/DUI charges while escaping the vehicular homicide charges.
Typically, a Notice of Revocation is issued upon arrest of an individual for DWI/DUI following a breath alcohol score or .08 or greater, or a refusal to take breath alcohol test. The revocation is mandatory no matter what happens on the DWI/DUI charges.
Even if the driver wins at trial, the breath score of .08 or a refusal results in the mandatory revocation of the license. Vehicular homicide almost by definition carries with it a charge of DWI/DUI.
As such, the arguments from both MVD and the Sheriff make little sense. In fact, this was probably an administrative error. The sheriff either failed to issue the Notice of Revocation, the notice of hearing did not go out, the hearing was not set within 90 days of the arrest, or the hearing simply was not set at all. MVD hearings are a mere formality for the revocation of a license.
The only way one keeps a driver‘s license under the Implied Consent Act in Mr. Owens‘ or Mr. Fiero‘s situation is by administrative error, which is what appears to have occurred here.
MVD License Revocation Hearings: Strictly Formality!
DWI/DUI: License Revocation Under the New Mexico Implied Consent Act
Driver‘s License Revocation Almost Certain with DWI Arrest in New Mexico