Recovery for your injuries or the death of your loved one in a DWI accident
The 2009 New Mexico Department of Transportation report DWI in New Mexico states that 152 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes and 2,698 people were injured. These numbers represent one of the highest rates of serious alcohol-related traffic accidents in the country. Sadly, the victims are often innocent passengers, occupants in other vehicles and pedestrians who suffer the tragic repercussions of an impaired driver’s bad decisions.
Revo Smith Law has remained steadfastly dedicated to personal injury recovery since 1979. Our car accident attorneys compassionately support victims of drunk and drugged driving and their families as we pursue compensation from the impaired motorists who carelessly chose to get behind the wheel.
Criminal and civil DUI-related cases
The drunk driver is typically arrested immediately following a DWI accident. The DWI offense is prosecuted in criminal courts based on New Mexico’s criminal statutes. Unless other aggravating circumstances exist, a first-time DWI offense is generally charged as a misdemeanor. However, repeat DWIs and drug-related accidents that result in fatalities may be charged as a felony. To secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. Although restitution is often part of the sentence, the amount rarely covers the costs of a victim’s damages.
Our lawyers can file a lawsuit in civil court to recover rightful compensation for your injuries or a wrongful death claim for the loss of your loved one. You only need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the drunk or drugged driver contributed to your accident — a lower standard of proof than required in criminal proceedings. In most cases, we are able to settle your claim with the insurance company for the maximum possible compensation, but we take your case to trial if we can reach better results.
New Mexico’s dram shop and social host laws
In addition to pursuing the drunk drivers and insurance companies, you may have a claim against a third party. New Mexico Statutes § 41-11-1 governs tort liability for alcoholic liquor sales or service to intoxicated individuals who cause injuries. Under the dram shop laws, a bar, club, restaurant, liquor store or other licensee can be held liable for selling or serving alcohol to a person who is intoxicated if:
It is reasonably apparent that the person is intoxicated
The seller or server knows or should know from the circumstances that the person is intoxicated
A social host may be responsible for recklessly providing a guest at a party, event or other social setting with alcoholic beverages in disregard for the rights of others, including the impaired guest. This statute is often applied in situations in which an impaired person drives recklessly when leaving an alcohol or drug–laden party. In addition to the normal damages from crashes caused by drunken or drugged drivers, we always pursue punitive damages.