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Ignition Interlock Devices in New Mexico

Ignition interlock devices are devices that prevent a person from operating a vehicle if they have consumed alcohol by measuring the potential driver’s BAC.  The device prevents the person from driving the vehicle if they have a BAC over a minimal amount.  In general, the person who violated the law pays the cost of installing and inspecting these devices as well as any fees associated with such inspection.

State laws differ widely on the use of ignition interlock devices.  Some states require these devices and mandatory, while others allow state judges to use their discretion as to when to implement these systems.  New Mexico currently uses ignition interlock devices.  The prescription of such devices is based on the number of convictions for DUI that a driver collects, but all drivers convicted of driving under the influence in the state will be forced to use such a device.   A first time offender will be required to install an ignition interlock device for one year in order to acquire a restricted license to allow the driver to operate a vehicle under limited circumstances, such as to get to a job.  A second conviction will result in two years use of the device, and a third conviction results in three years use of the device.  Any subsequent convictions will result in permanent use of the ignition interlock device for the rest of the driver’s life.  These penalties are further amplified in New Mexico for drivers who refused to submit to chemical testing upon arrest.

The cost to rent an ignition interlock device is roughly $100, and this does not include installation fees that can be even greater than the cost to rent the device.  Typically, the convict is responsible for the costs associated with these devices in addition to other legal fees.


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