The winter holidays in New Mexico tend to inspire a spike in impaired driving arrests, a serious issue that poses risks to both the driver and the public. Few people are so reckless that they knowingly get behind the wheel when they are significantly impaired. Yet, it is often easy for someone whose body is still processing the alcohol they’ve consumed to think that they’re still “sober enough” to drive when, in reality, they aren’t.
As a result, awareness of the risks you’re taking when imbibing is the first step in preventing a DUI arrest this holiday season. Understand that even small amounts of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely. New Mexico has strict DUI laws, and being caught can lead to severe legal consequences, including fines, license suspension and even jail time.
Be prepared if you plan to drink
If you plan to drink, ensure that you have a safe way to get home. This could be a designated driver, public transportation or a ride-sharing service. Having a plan in place before you start drinking is key. On the flip side, if you’re hosting a holiday event, offer non-alcoholic drink options and ensure your guests have a safe way home. Stop serving alcohol towards the end of the evening and consider arranging transportation for guests who have been drinking. Otherwise, you could potentially be held liable if one of your guests leaves drunk and hurts someone on their way home.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that alcohol can remain in your system for several hours, and sometimes until the next morning. If possible, stay overnight at the location of the holiday event, especially if you have a long drive home.
Finally, note that New Mexico often increases DUI checkpoints during the holidays. While the primary goal is not to avoid these checkpoints, being aware of them can serve as a reminder of the risks and consequences of being arrested for a DUI. After all, knowledge is power.