Court: No license loss if DWI arrest flawed

Jul 27, 2012

New Mexico's highest court says the state can't revoke the driver's license of someone stopped for drunken driving if the arrest was improper.

The state Supreme Court issued the ruling on Thursday in upholding the license revocation of a man arrested by Farmington police in 2009 after he fell over on his motorcycle in a bar's parking lot.

The court said the Motor Vehicle Division properly determined the arrest was constitutional because police had reasonable grounds to believe the driver was intoxicated.

In its decision, the Supreme Court overturned a state Court of Appeals ruling that the legality of a drunken driving arrest doesn't have to be considered by MVD to revoke a driver's license. Administrative license revocation proceedings are separate from the criminal prosecution of someone for drunken driving.