By virtue of driving on New Mexico roadways, drivers implicitly give their consent to follow all applicable rules and laws. Implied consent becomes a focus during a drunk driving stop.
What Implied Consent Means in a DWI Case
Every person operating a vehicle on New Mexico roads—whether licensed in New Mexico or another state—gives consent to provide a law enforcement officer a breath and/or blood sample for the purposes of testing blood alcohol concentration levels. Implied consent applies to breath and/or blood samples collected to determine if probable cause exists for a drunk driving arrest or to determine BAC levels at the time of arrest of another alleged crime.
Consequences of Refusing Implied Consent
Individuals stopped for drunk driving can refuse to perform a field sobriety test. Such tests are not covered under the New Mexico Implied Consent Act. However, refusing to provide a breath and/or blood sample during a drunk driving stop is not an advisable way to avoid a drunk driving charge. BAC test results are not the only evidence that may demonstrate probable cause, so an officer can arrest you for driving under the influence without administering a breathalyzer or blood test. Refusing to comply is also grounds for aggravated DWI charges.
Implied Consent and DWI Defense
Implied consent and BAC test results are not the end of the story for a drunk driving arrest. In order to be used as evidence in court, BAC tests must be administered within a specific window of time and equipment must be calibrated correctly. Additionally, you must be informed of your right to additional tests and test results. Whether or not proper protocol was followed can be crucial to your DWI defense case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Patrick J. Martinez & Associates know how to investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and BAC testing to determine if results are admissible in court. We can identify if any fourth amendment rights violations occurred and use all our findings to build a strong case in your defense. If you are facing the penalties of DWI, get an experienced attorney on your side.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation at our Albuquerque, NM office. We provide representation at all administrative hearings at no extra charge for our criminal defense clients.