In an effort to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads, New Mexico instituted the ignition interlock law in 2005. This law requires drivers convicted of DWI to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
When the Ignition Interlock Law Applies
According to the ignition interlock law, drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving must get the device installed on their vehicle. Drivers must also get a special ignition interlock driver’s license, which identifies them as drivers only allowed to operate vehicles with a device installed.
The law outlines different lengths of time that someone must have the interlock driver’s license and the ignition interlock device. In most cases, the number of offense determines the length of time. For instance, an ignition interlock device and license are required:
- One year for first offense
- Two years for second offense
- Three years for third offense
Fourth and subsequent offenses are felonies, so ignition interlock devices may be required for longer periods of time, up to life, or a person may face permanent license revocation.
Ignition interlock devices may also be required before conviction for drivers who refused chemical alcohol testing.
Ignition Interlock Device Information
The cost of installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device falls on the driver. On average, installation costs $100 and monthly maintenance is $75. Drivers with an ignition interlock license cannot drive a vehicle that does not have a breathalyzer installed. If caught driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, a driver faces penalties similar to those driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
Albuquerque DWI Defense Attorneys
The ignition interlock laws in New Mexico may help you restore driving privileges when facing DWI charges, but there are financial and psychological costs. To help you fight to keep your driving privileges and maintain a clean record, get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The DWI defense lawyers at Patrick J. Martinez & Associates provide representation at all criminal and MVD administrative hearings. We build strong defense cases to protect your innocence. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation at our Albuquerque office.