DWI First Offense Penalties, New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, a DWI first offense is a Class B Misdemeanor. That means, that you cannot go to jail for a conviction but it is a criminal offense and will go on your criminal record.
There is, however, an often unused provision in the law which allows you to reduce your criminal conviction to a civil infraction (like a speeding ticket) one year after the conclusion of your sentence.
The penalties for DWI are very complicated and will be difficult for a non-lawyer to understand. This page attempts to simplify the criminal code into a more understandable “snapshot” of the law. So, if you are convicted of a DWI 1st Offense you face the following penalties:
You will receive a minimum fine of $500 plus court-imposed penalty assessment of 24% for a total fine of $620;
You will be referred to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program or “IDCMP”. See this helpful pamphlet on the IDCMP which lists fines and contact information ;
You will be required to complete a drug and alcohol screening. If the screening reveals a likely substance abuse disorder you will be required to complete a full substance abuse disorder evaluation and thereafter perform follow-up treatment in accordance with whatever service plan developed from that evaluation.
This can often prove problematic because the people doing the screening are also the people who perform the “follow-up care”. So, it is in their financial interest to recommend follow-up care so they can charge you more money.
You cannot reinstate your license until you complete the follow-up care. If they order follow-up care, your license suspension may end up being longer than what you were sentenced to ;
- You will be required to complete an approved Driver Education Program prior to the restoration of your driver’s license or privilege to drive. This is essentially a driving class where they teach you the statistics of drunk driving and the dangers associated therewith;
- You will also be required to pay all fees associated with these programs including your screening;
- You will lose your driver’s license for 9 months and up to 2 years. This does not include the suspension you will receive from the Department of Motor Vehicles, discussed on another page. The suspension from the DMV (usually 6 months) may run concurrent (overlapping) or consecutive (back to back) with any suspension you receive from the Court depending on whether you refused the breathalyzer or not;
- You will require to purchase and SR-22 insurance rider before you can drive.
Whatever suspension you receive from the Court may have 6 months suspended if you obtain a drug and alcohol abuse screen within 14 days of the conviction and, if required, you complete a full drug and alcohol abuse evaluation within 30 days of conviction AND you are in compliance with the service plan AND you have completed an approved Drivers Education Program.
Basically, the Court will incentivize your completion of all your required treatment;
The Court has the power and may ultimately require the installation of an interlock device during the period of sentence reduction. Still, this usually only occurs if there was an accident or your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was excessively high.
Now that you know the basic framework of penalties for a DWI first offense, You need an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer to show you the loopholes and explain how they all interrelate. Our lawyers at the DWI Defense Legal Group are always available for a free consultation during which we will explain this complicated landscape of legal pitfalls. Do not try and navigate these waters alone or with a lawyer who “dabbles” in DWI defense. Our lawyers live and breath DWI defense.
Call us today on 603-669-1663 and let us impress you with our knowledge and professionalism.
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