The case summaries that follow deal with DWI defense issues. It should be noted that there is significant overlap between the criminal defense case summaries and the DWI defense summaries on these pages. For example criminal law, process and procedure will govern DWI defense.
However, there are many cases that deal specifically with DWI related issues. DWI defense invokes all the broader issues of criminal defense such as due process, search and seizure, right to counsel, right to bail,6th Amendment allows for confrontation of witnesses in criminal trial, Miranda, evidentiary issues and so on. DWI has many issues that are unique to DWI such as the New Mexico Implied Consent Act, breath and blood alcohol and standardized field sobriety tests. In addition, there are other issues such as expert testimony from state witnesses, testing procedures and so on that apply equally to criminal defense and DWI defense.
These pages will focus on those cases that deal most directly with DWI issues with the understanding that they could just as easily be in the criminal defense section. The primary purpose for doing it this way is for organizational purposes to help our readers find the cases that they are looking for.
Finally, the cases will be limited to those that that will most directly affect the rights of New Mexico DWI suspect. As such, the summaries will focus on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, the New Mexico Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. The following abbreviations will be used for the court of origin: New Mexico Court of Appeals (NMCA), New Mexico Supreme Court (NMSC), and United States Supreme Court (USSC).
Again, as indicated on the Case Summaries entry page, these summaries are not intended as legal advice. They are simply meant to acquaint the reader with some of the issues surrounding DWI charges and defense. More to the point, they are not meant to serve as a substitute for the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you have been charged with DWI, it is extremely important that you obtain legal representation as soon as possible to insure that your rights are fully protected. Fortunately for those that cannot afford a private attorney, there are many highly qualified public defenders in New Mexico that are there to protect you.
The U.S. Supreme Court addresses the legality of a warrantless non-consensual blood draw in a DWI investigation.