Parenting children is a huge responsibility. At the same time, drinking is also a huge responsibility. Both become even more challenging when driving is involved, and when drinking and driving while parenting… well, that’s just a whole new level of mess. New Mexico DWI laws don’t directly address the dangers of having children in a vehicle when you choose to drink and drive, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious problem with serious consequences.
One of the recommendations from MADD for top-level DWI laws is a strict penalty for DWI child endangerment. New Mexico DWI law doesn’t specifically have a statute that addresses that situation. Instead, the state can charge a New Mexico DWI suspect with felony child abuse charges. It doesn’t exactly meet the criteria set forth by MADD, yet it will still trigger a series of legal situations that are just as difficult as other DWI child endangerment laws.
Section 66-8-102(A): “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to drive a vehicle within this state.” It’s also a crime for “a person knowingly, intentionally, or negligently, and without justifiable cause, (to cause or permit) a child to be placed in a situation that may endanger the child’s life or health.”
Section 30-6-1 of New Mexico statutes makes child abuse a third-degree felony (punishable by up to three years in prison) if the child is not actually injured and a first-degree felony if the result is great bodily injury to the child (punishable by up to eighteen years in prison).
The stresses of parenting and other obligations can make life difficult. A DWI makes life even more difficult when you consider the additional penalties, court costs, ignition interlock requirement and more. If you’ll be drinking, have a safe ride home and eliminate the chances that you’ll face such a tough road ahead from a New Mexico DWI.