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Albuquerque Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Committed to Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 32 people die every day in the United States as a result of alcohol-involved motor vehicle accidents. In 2020 (the latest year for which data are available), total alcohol-involved accident fatalities increased by 14% from the previous year, with more than 11,600 people dying in drunk driving crashes.

Our goal at Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero is to support our clients by holding irresponsible parties accountable for their injurious actions. We do this to help ensure accident victims receive fair and just compensation for their injuries, as well as to deter future drunk drivers from committing the same heinous crimes. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with an intoxicated motorist, reach out to our Albuquerque drunk driving accident attorneys right away to learn how we can help you fight for justice.

Call us at (505) 806-1780 or contact us online to request a free and confidential consultation. Hablamos español.

How Blood Alcohol Concentration Impacts Driving Ability

You often hear people state that they know their limits when it comes to drinking. There is an assumption that as long as you’re under the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you’re capable of operating a vehicle responsibly. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The effects of alcohol on a person’s driving ability begin with the very first drink, and the more alcohol consumed, the higher a person’s BAC becomes. 

Here is a breakdown of how BAC impacts driving ability:

  • 0.02% BAC – Both multi-tasking and visual tracking are affected at this level. The driver may experience altered mood and lapses in judgement, both of which make it difficult to focus attention on driving.
  • 0.05% BAC – At a BAC of 0.05%, a person’s visual tracking declines even further, while their coordination also becomes reduced. Alertness decreases, visual focus diminishes, and steering is impacted. 
  • 0.08% BAC – By the time the driver has reached the legal limit, impairment is significant. Drivers are less likely to react accordingly to sudden road hazards. Perception, reasoning, memory, speech, and vision are all affected.
  • 0.10% BAC – Motor control is greatly diminished, thinking slows down, and coordination is extremely impaired when a person’s BAC reaches 0.10%. At this point, the driver may difficult staying within his or her lane.

With a BAC above 0.10%, an individual may experience significant confusion, drowsiness, and lack of coordination. Vomiting is common, and the individual may also lose consciousness, depending on their BAC.

The Definition of a Standard Drink Size

The more you drink, the higher your BAC becomes. However, it takes fewer drinks to get drunk than most people assume. Just two standard-sized drinks raise BAC to 0.02%, and by four drinks, BAC will mostly likely have breached the legal limit. At seven drinks, severe impairment occurs, making the risk of a fatal accident far more likely. 

Drink sizes vary according to the potency of the alcohol. A standard-sized glass of beer is 12 ounces, while a standard-sized shot of liquor is only 1.5 ounces. A standard glass of wine, meanwhile, is 5 ounces. For some, a single drink can be enough to cause driving impairment. 

Filing a Drunk Driving Accident Claim

Driving under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) is a crime in New Mexico. People who choose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol not only put themselves at risk but also endanger everyone else on the road. If convicted, they face serious criminal penalties, including steep fines and jail or prison time. However, a DUI conviction does little to compensate the victim for their injuries, emotional damages, and financial losses. 

To help victims of drunk driving accidents, New Mexico allows affected individuals to file civil lawsuits against drunk drivers and other liable parties. In this way, drunk driving accident claims are different from criminal DUI cases. A civil claim allows the victim to recover monetary compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages. It may also result in an award of punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant for egregious negligence or wanton/willful misconduct. 

  • "I can't seem to say enough about the people at this law firm. I was treated with the greatest experience ever. My case wasn't a very large case, but, non the less I was treated with the upmost respect and treatment of a huge case."
    Christopher C.
  • "Not only are they highly competent, ethical, smart and efficient, they are very kind. They have provided the best representation and assistance imaginable and I would, without any reservation whatsoever, highly recommend this law firm."
    Dorian D.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Drunk Driving Accident Case? 

If you were injured in an accident with someone who was driving under the influence of alcohol (or drugs), you may be able to collect damages through a civil lawsuit against them or their insurance provider. Depending on the specifics of your case, you could receive compensation for both economic losses and non-economic losses you suffered as a result of the crash.

Here are some common damages that can be recovered in drunk driving accident claims:

  • Emergency medical care costs 
  • Past and future medical expenses 
  • Transportation costs to and from medical appointments
  • Lost income/wages and earning ability 
  • Loss of future earnings due to reduced earning capacity
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress and anguish
  • Funeral/burial costs (in wrongful death claims) 
  • Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Punitive damages

At Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, our Albuquerque drunk driving accident lawyers seek maximum compensation for our clients. We understand the hardships you are facing, and we want to help you secure the justice you deserve. 

Can You File a Claim Against the Person or Vendor That Provided Alcohol to the Drunk Driver? 

Under New Mexico’s dram shop law, you are allowed to bring a civil liability claim against a bar, restaurant, or similar establishment that provided alcohol to someone who went on to cause injury as a result of being intoxicated in certain circumstances. 

To have a case, you must prove that:

  • The establishment or vendor served alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated
  • The intoxicated individual caused injury to another person 
  • The injury caused was the result of the person’s intoxication 

It is also possible to bring a claim against a “social host”—i.e., someone other than a commercial vendor who provides alcohol to another person in a social setting—under the state’s social host liability law. Under this law, a social host is liable for injuries caused by an intoxicated individual when “alcoholic beverages were provided recklessly in disregard of the rights of others, including the social guest.” 

Both dram shop and social host liability claims are very difficult to prove. We strongly recommend that you work with an experienced attorney, like ours at Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, for help with your case. 

How Long Do You Have to File a Drunk Driving Accident Claim? 

In most cases, you have just three years after the accident to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver or another liable party in New Mexico. If you wait too long, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case. This means that you will not be able to recover any compensation for your drunk driving accident-related damages. 

The sooner you reach out to our team, the sooner we can begin collecting evidence and building a powerful case on your behalf. Get in touch with our firm today to learn how we can help you with your drunk driving accident claim. 

How a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help 

The actions of careless drunk drivers often harm innocent people who are simply going about their day until their entire world is changed. When this occurs, having the help of a dedicated law firm with a genuine commitment to protecting clients can make all the difference.

At Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, we are committed to helping victims of drunk driving accidents stand up for their rights. We are there for our clients in their darkest moments, offering the personalized guidance and support they need. Our team is always available through our 24/7 answering service, and we offer free consultations and flexible hours to accommodate the needs of our clients. 

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a drunk driver, we are ready to fight for you. Get in touch with us today to speak to one of our Albuquerque drunk driving accident attorneys about your legal rights and options. We do not collect any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.

You can reach us online using our secure contact form or by calling (505) 806-1780.

"Not only are they highly competent, ethical, smart and efficient, they are very kind. They have provided the best representation and assistance imaginable and I would, without any reservation whatsoever, highly recommend this law firm."
Dorian D.
Our History

Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C. is a local law firm with local and national recognition for having the expertise to handle the toughest cases. Over a century ago, David B. Martinez’s grandparents realized their dream of building a general store at the corner of Rio Grande and Indian School. “A century later, David B. Martinez and F. Michael Hart built this law firm on the same corner of Rio Grande and Indian School where David’s family had built their general store.” The corner of Rio Grande and Indian School is now home to Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C., which holds the same dedication to serving the needs of the surrounding community.