Underage Drinking

New Mexico

The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private location
  • AND EITHER parent/guardian OR spouse

Notes:
POSSESSION: In New Mexico beginning July 1, 2004, possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under 21 is specifically allowed when "a parent, legal guardian or adult spouse of a minor serves alcoholic beverages to that minor on real property, other than licensed premises, under the control of the parent, legal guardian or adult spouse.”

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

Purchase is prohibited and there is NO ALLOWANCE for youth purchase for law enforcement purposes.

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private location
  • AND EITHER parent/guardian OR spouse

Notes:
In New Mexico beginning July 1, 2004, furnishing of alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 is specifically allowed when "a parent, legal guardian or adult spouse of a minor serves alcoholic beverages to that minor on real property, other than licensed premises, under the control of the parent, legal guardian or adult spouse,” or when "alcoholic beverages are used in the practice of religious beliefs." See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 60-7B-1(B).

  • Beer: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
  • Wine: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
  • Spirits: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension procedure

Provision(s) targeting suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Keg definition: more than 6 gallons

Purchaser information collected:

  • purchaser's name and address
  • verified by a government-issued ID

Warning information to purchaser: active – purchaser action required (e.g., signature)

Deposit: not required

Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

  • Underage purchase
  • Underage possession

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 18

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • discretionary

Length of suspension/revocation: 90 days

No State-imposed liability for hosting underage drinking parties.