Earlier this week, a Colorado man was arrested in New Mexico for driving under the influence of alcohol. According to a report by KRQE, a police officer found an elk carcass in the road which aroused his suspicions. A few miles down the road, he found the man who they believe struck the animal. Police noticed that the man’s breath smelled of alcohol and it was “very clear” that he was the one who had hit the animal.
Police arrested the man for driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving with a suspended license. Apparently this was the man’s seventh drinking and driving offense.
Drinking and Driving is Taken Very Seriously in New Mexico
The above story is clearly an unusual circumstance, rarely do we see a driver with seven drinking while driving offenses. However, it is not rare to see a person with one or two of the offenses on their record. The State of New Mexico takes these offenses very seriously. In fact, even for a first time offender, a driver may face up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a year-long license suspension. For subsequent convictions, the jail time, fine, and duration of suspension increase dramatically. In some cases involving multiple offenses or serious bodily injury, jail sentences can be decades long.
In addition to criminal sanctions, when a drunk driver causes an accident that results in property damage or personal injury, the victims involved in that accident are entitled to seek monetary compensation from the drunk driver. These lawsuits are based on the legal theory of negligence. Indeed, few activities are more negligent than drinking and driving?
In most cases involving legal negligence, a plaintiff must prove four elements in order to recover from the defendant. The most often contested element is generally whether the defendant breached a duty of care that he owed to the plaintiff. In drunk driving cases, New Mexico plaintiffs are at an advantage when seeking recovery due to the known dangers involved in drinking and driving. In other words, it is easier to establish that a breach occurred when a defendant driver was intoxicated.
What To Do if You Have Been Involved in a New Mexico Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a New Mexico car accident, you should speak with an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be eligible to receive monetary damages based on the other driver’s negligence. In many cases, these damages can result in substantial monetary awards for New Mexico accident victims. To find out more about the negligence laws in New Mexico, and to speak about your case with a dedicated personal injury attorney, click here or call 505-889-FINE.
More Blog Posts:
Recent New Mexico Appellate Court Decision Harmful to Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs, Increases Importance of Quickly Consulting an Attorney, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 13, 2014.
New Mexico Federal Court Rejects Defendant’s Attempt to Disqualify Plaintiff’s Witness in Slip-and-Fall Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 5, 2014.