When researching the laws and consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in New Mexico, you may notice that legal advocates and statutes refer to the act as both a DUI and DWI. You know that DUI refers to “driving under the influence,” but what does “DWI” mean, and what’s the difference between the two? Our Albuquerque DUI/DWI defense lawyers at Simon A. Kubiak, Attorneys at Law, PC, are prepared to address your concerns and ensure you are as informed as possible throughout the duration of your case.
The Basics of a DWI
DWI is an acronym for “driving while impaired” or “driving while intoxicated.” Both DUI and DWI are used interchangeably by lawmakers and law enforcement alike, as both terms describe a driver who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or some other substance that hinders his or her driving abilities. In short, there is no difference between a DUI and DWI.
Because there is no difference between a DUI and DWI, the courts categorize the offenses in similar manners. Per New Mexico law, the scheduling criteria for both DUIs and DWIs are as follows:
- 1st Time DUI/DWI: Petty misdemeanor punishable by DWI school, up to 90 days in jail, community service and a fine of no more than $500.
- 2nd and 3rd DUI/DWI: Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail (no less than 96 hours for 2nd offense and no less than 30 days for 3rd offense) and a fine of up to $1,000.
- 4th and Subsequent DUI/DWI: Felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison, six of which cannot be deferred or substituted with probation.
As with a DUI charge, you face conviction if the state can prove that your BAC was over .08 or .02 if you are under the age of 21, and .04 if you were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of arrest. Likewise, if your BAC exceeded .16 or more; you caused injury to another human being; or you refused to submit to a chemical test, you may face aggravated DWI charges.
Know Your Rights Under New Mexico DWI Law
Knowledge is your best weapon in a DWI case. Veteran DWI defense attorney, Simon A. Kubiak, can inform you of your rights and advise you on the best course of action following an in-depth investigation. For unwavering support, guidance and advocacy, contact our Albuquerque law firm today.