BEING CHARGED WITH DUI / DWI WHEN YOU WEREN’T DRIVING

by Margaret Strickland

In New Mexico a person can be charged with DUI or DWI even when they are not actually driving.  Many people find this hard to believe, but if a person gets into his or her car and chooses NOT to drive but rather to sleep it off in the car or wait in the car for a ride, they can still be charged with DUI or DWI.

In 2010 the New Mexico Supreme Court somewhat limited the prosecutions ability to win guilty verdicts on these DUI /DWI cases by requiring the prosecution prove: “actual physical control of a vehicle” and a “general intent to drive.”

For a jury to determine whether an individual is in actual physical control of a vehicle, the following factors can be considered:

1. Whether the vehicle was running;

2. Whether the ignition was on;

3. Where the ignition key was located;

4. Where and in what position the driver was found in the vehicle;

5. Whether the person was awake or asleep;

6. Whether the vehicle’s headlights were on;

7. Where the vehicle was stopped;

8. Whether the driver had voluntarily pulled off the road;

9. Time of day;

10. Weather conditions;

Keep these factors in mind if you are ever inside a vehicle while intoxicated.

The attorneys at McGraw & Strickland have won successful verdicts on many DUI / DWI cases.  If you need help with your case, you can contact the law office at: (575) 323-1529

Las Cruces, NM