Like many in Roswell, you likely believe that law enforcement officials cannot compel you to do anything that you do not consent to. That includes offering a blood or breath sample for testing to see if you might be under the influence of alcohol. Several of the clients that we here at the Sanders Law Firm have worked with in the past have shared this same assumption. What they (and you) might not realize is that through your actions, you have already consent to be tested to determine whether or not you might be impaired while driving.
New Mexico has what is known as an "implied consent law." It can be found in Section 66-8-107 of the state's Motor Vehicle Code. Basically, this law states that by driving in the state, you agree to submit to chemical testing of your blood or breath to determine if you are driving under the influence. A refusal to do so can result in its own criminal penalties, as well as the automatic suspension of your driver' license.
It is important to understand, however, what exactly qualifies as a "chemical test." Such tests must be approved by the scientific laboratory division of the state's department of health. They are also typically administered in a controlled setting. This means that field sobriety tests (even Breathalyzer tests) may not be meet the standard of chemical testing (instead, they are often referred to as preliminary alcohol screenings). You may be within your rights to refuse them, yet an officer can then compel you to submit to chemical testing if he or she has probable cause to believe you are intoxicated.
You can discover more about challenging drunk driving charges by continuing to explore our site.