New Mexico Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers: Understanding Liability

- Mark Caruso

When a Drunk Driver Causes a New Mexico Car Accident, Victims Can Receive Compensation for their Personal Injuries

Drunk driving car accidents are avoidable.  Yet, they are still way too common in our society.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 there were almost 10,000 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in the United States.  And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accidents costs more than an estimated $37 billion annually in the United States.  Both sources report that this equates to approximately one person killed by alcohol-related car accidents every 51 minutes.  In addition, drunk driving car accidents cause horrific and serious personal injuries to many more people.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a New Mexico car accident, call our experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.  We will explain to you all of your rights and how we can obtain the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to.  We will also take the burden of protecting your rights off of your shoulders so you can focus on your recovery with your family.  Do not delay, and call our experienced attorneys today.

New Mexico Law Makes it Unlawful for Any Person to Drive While Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Liquor

It should be obvious, but under NM Stat 66-8-102, it is unlawful for any person from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence any intoxicating liquor.  There are different levels of intoxication based on a set of parameters, which include the following:

  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more if you are 21 years old or more;
  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .02 or more if you are under 21 years old; and
  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .04 or more if you drive a commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer truck.

Violating this statute and causing a New Mexico car accident can result in a finding of negligence per se.  This is an automatic finding of negligence based on the violation of a statute.  It can be a powerful tool for a victim to use.

Additionally, New Mexico common law also finds that a defendant can be liable for driving while ability impaired or while intoxicated even under .08 if there are tell-tale characteristics of intoxication.  For instance, if a defendant comes out of a vehicle and fails multiple field sobriety tests but only blows a .04, he or she may still be liable for driving while intoxicated.  Either or, the impaired ability recorded by a police officer can be valuable evidence in a car accident case to establish negligence and win.

Drunk Drivers Causing New Mexico Car Accidents are Negligent

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.