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Can You Get a DUI on Private Property in New Mexico?

Can You Get a DUI on Private Property in New Mexico?

Imagine this scenario: You’ve just had a great time at a party with your friends and you’re ready to head home. As you start your car in your own driveway, you notice flashing lights approaching on the street. An officer approaches you and asks you to step out of the vehicle, questioning whether you have been drinking.

You might assume that being on your private property protects you from any potential DUI charges, even if you had consumed alcohol before operating the vehicle. However, the laws in New Mexico do not make a distinction between private and public property when it comes to drinking and driving. This means that regardless of where you are, it is essential to be cautious and avoid getting behind the wheel if you have consumed alcohol.

New Mexico law concerning DUIs on private property

In New Mexico, the laws regarding DUIs (driving under the influence) do not differentiate between private and public property. This means that individuals can be arrested for drinking and driving even if they are on their own private property. The law in New Mexico is designed to prioritize public safety and prevent impaired individuals from operating a vehicle, regardless of the location.

Therefore, it is important for individuals in New Mexico to exercise caution and refrain from driving if they have consumed alcohol, regardless of whether they are on public roads or private property. It is always advisable to designate a sober driver, use alternative transportation, or wait until you are sober before getting behind the wheel to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Types of private property where you could be charged with a DUI

In New Mexico, the law does not specifically define or list types of private property where individuals can be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence). The key factor is whether a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, regardless of the property ownership.

Examples of private property where someone could potentially be charged with a DUI include:

  1. Residential driveways: If you operate a motor vehicle while impaired on your own residential driveway, you can still be subject to a DUI charge.

  2. Private parking lots: Whether it’s a commercial establishment’s parking lot, a private community parking area, or any other privately owned parking space, driving under the influence is illegal and can lead to DUI charges.

  3. Private roads and estates: If you are on a private road within an estate, private community, or any other private property, the DUI laws still apply. It’s important to note that some private roads may have additional regulations or restrictions in place.

  4. Agricultural or rural properties: Even if you are on a large agricultural or rural property, such as a farm or ranch, driving under the influence is still a violation of the law.

In summary, New Mexico’s DUI laws do not exempt individuals from being charged with a DUI based on the type of private property they are on. It is crucial to prioritize safety and make responsible decisions regarding alcohol consumption and driving, regardless of the property ownership.

Don’t forget that you don’t have to be driving for an officer to charge you with a DUI. The courts will focus on whether you were in “actual physical control” of a motorized vehicle. To do this, the courts will evaluate these key factors.

  • If the car was running
  • Where the key was located if the car wasn’t running
  • If you were awake
  • The position you were within the vehicle
  • The vehicle’s location
  • The state of the vehicle, such as whether the air conditioning was running, the windows were up or down, if the lights were on, etc.

These facts and situational factors are all things that your New Mexico DUI attorney will work to prove to avoid a conviction. If you’re facing DUI charges, contact our office as soon as possible to begin developing a defense strategy.

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