New Mexico Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: Speed shall be so controlled as to avoid colliding with any person or vehicle which is either on or entering the highway. All persons shall use due care. NM 1 § 66-7

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $300,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 90 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between $25 and $100,
  • sentenced to jail time of between 5 to 90 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than 90 days.

Speed Limits

  • 75 MPH on highways
  • 35 MPH in business and residential districts
  • 15 MPH in a posted school zone

New Mexico Speeding Laws

New Mexico has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In New Mexico you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in New Mexico you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

An offender's license is suspended for not more than 3 months if they accumulate between 7 and 10 points within 1 year. However, they are subject to a 12 month suspension if they accumulate 12 or more points within 12 consecutive months. The following points have been assigned for speeding or speed related violations: Speeding more than 26 MPH over the speed limit-8 points; reckless driving-6 points; racing on highway-6 points; speeding 16 to 25 MPH over the speed limit-5 points; speeding 6 to 15 MPH over the speed limit-3 points; careless driving-3 points; and, not proceeding at the normal speed of traffic except when driving in the right lane-3 points. Note: The point schedule does not assign points driving at such a slow speed as to impede traffic.

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