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Implied Consent Laws in New Mexico

Implied consent laws exist in all states and generally are laws that require drivers to submit to chemical testing when pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Drivers give consent to such testing upon application for license in a given state.  Failure to submit to such testing carries significant penalties that vary by state and are typically enhanced if the driver has previous DUI convictions.

New Mexico’s implied consent law can be found in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated §66-8-107, and requires all drivers to submit to such chemical testing.  If the driver refuses to take the chemical test (such as urine, blood, breath, or other bodily substance) this refusal may be admissible as evidence at trial of the driver’s intoxication.  In addition, a driver who refuses a chemical test has his license suspended for anywhere from 90 days to one year in New Mexico on a first offense.  The result is that the driver could face an automatic suspension of his license along with other potential fines and penalties for failure to comply with the implied consent law by virtue of failure to submit to a chemical test.  Drivers who decline to take chemical tests may still file for a petition in court to reverse the conviction.

Such laws serve useful purposes.  They force the issue in that a driver either takes the test or is automatically guilty of the crime, thus the law acts as a deterrent to driving under the influence.  Implied consent laws also decrease confrontations between officers and potentially inebriated drivers, since the officer need not attempt to force the driver to take a breathalyzer against his will, for example.

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