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Commercial Drivers License and DUI in New Mexico

Just as the rules and penalties are different for underage drivers found guilty of DUI offenses, the statutory rules for DUI differ for those carrying commercial drivers licenses as well.  Drivers of commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard than typical drivers.  The legal BAC limit in New Mexico for a person driving a commercial vehicle is 0.04.  Thus a driver of a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 or greater is automatically guilty of violating New Mexico’s DUI law.  In addition to the normal penalties for a DUI conviction, the driver will also not be able to drive another commercial vehicle for a period of one year.  If the driver was hauling hazardous materials at the time of the arrest, the commercial license will be suspended for at least three years.

A second offense will lead to the driver’s commercial license being revoked for life, meaning the consequences of a commercial DUI can have even more strenuous effects on the driver than a normal DUI in the state of New Mexico.  If a driver is guilty of a second offense, for example, it could mean he no longer can perform his job and lose his livelihood.

Finally, drivers of commercial vehicles can still face punishment if they have any alcohol in their bodies regardless of their BAC falling within the legal limit for a commercial driver.  A commercial driver with a BAC between 0 and 0.04 will receive an out-of-service notice and will be barred from driving for the next 24 hours.  While this penalty may seem like no more than a slap on the wrist, DUI laws are taken very seriously and the penalties associated can be even more stringent for commercial drivers than for others.  Drivers who have their commercial licenses suspended can appeal the suspension within ten days of arrest for the conviction.

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