If you decide to refuse a Breathalyzer test after a traffic stop, you should know that the decision to do so many seriously affect your future. Your license will be suspended if you don’t take the test because you violated the implied consent law.
While some people believe that this suspension is the only penalty they’ll face, the reality is that New Mexico handles that revocation and the DWI charges separately. So, once the officer is able to get a warrant, they’ll still get a sample from you and then proceed with a DWI case if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the .08% limit or if you had significant signs of impairment.
How long do you have before a license revocation takes effect?
If you refuse the Breathalyzer test, your license is taken away right away. However, New Mexico does not process that revocation for 20 days. That gives you time to request an administrative hearing and to set up a time to discuss what happened at that hearing. At that time, it’s important to have your attorney there to support you, since you will discuss important issues such as:
- If the officer had the grounds to pull over your vehicle
- If the officer did or did not tell you that you’d lose your license if you refused to take the Breathalyzer test
- If the chemical test was administered properly when taken
- The arrest circumstances
- If your DWI hearing was held within 90 days, as is required
Violations of your rights have to be taken seriously. Your attorney will work with you to help preserve your driving privileges and fight the charges.