New Mexico

Court: Woman unconstitutionally punished for refusing blood test

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled an Albuquerque woman was unconstitutionally punished for refusing a blood test at a checkpoint in 2011.
    
The Albuquerque Journal reports a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy enhanced Larissa Vargas' DWI charge because she refused the test.
    
She scored a 0.04 blood alcohol content in breath tests and was suspected of being high on drugs.
    
The state Supreme Court cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says a person arrested for DWI may be punished for refusing breath tests, but may not be punished for declining blood tests unless officers get warrants or there are emergencies in cases involving great bodily harm or death.
    
Vargas didn't injure anyone and the deputy didn't have a warrant.
    
On Thursday, justices sent Vargas' basic DWI case back to a lower court.