DWI Penalties

Being convicted of a DWI can impact multiple areas of your life. Excessive fines and court costs will affect you financially, while jail terms deprive you of your freedom. License suspensions limit your ability to hold gainful employment, and your criminal record might also make it more difficult to find new employment in the future.

As a criminal defense attorney in Albuquerque, I’ve seen first-hand how DWI penalties can alter peoples’ lives. I’m Angela Arellanes, a criminal defense attorney with more than 25 years of experience representing clients. I’m a member of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and am deeply committed to supporting clients in need of help. By working with Angela Arellanes Law, I can help devise the best legal strategy to alleviate the following penalties.

Jail Time

First-time offenders will be subject to no more than 90 days in jail if convicted of a DWI charge. However, jail terms only increase from there, with 2nd and subsequent offenses incurring mandatory jail time, ranging from 96 consecutive hours for the 2nd offense to 10 years for 8th DWI offenses. Any amount of jail time can have a serious impact on your life for many years to come.


DWIs are expensive, which can cause significant financial strife in your life. 1st offenses are subject to a fine up to $500, while 2nd and 3rd offenses entail mandatory fines of $500 and $750, respectively. For people who have past DWI convictions on their record, fines up to $10,000 may also be a possibility.

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License Suspension

Your license can be suspended for up to one year after your DWI conviction. During the suspension, you’ll be obligated to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Ignition interlock devices require the driver to blow into a tube so a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading can be taken. If the driver fails the test, they won’t be able to start the vehicle and may be subject to additional penalties.


1st offenses can receive up one year of probation, while all subsequent offenses can be subject to up to five years of probation. During the probationary period, you’ll be obligated to visit with a probation officer as required by the court. If you’re arrested for another infraction, you may receive jail time, additional fines, and other punishments for violating the terms of probation.

Other Penalties You’ll Face

All those convicted of a DWI will undergo a substance abuse screening. Depending on the results of the screening, you may be obligated to attend a drug and alcohol treatment program. 1st through 3rd DWI offenses also require mandatory community service, ranging from 24 to 96 hours.

The First Step to Getting Your Life Back on Track

Time is of the essence when facing a DWI charge in Albuquerque. Contact me today for more information on my firm and how I can help with your case.

If you’re ready to schedule a consultation, feel free to call 505.247.2417.