NH DWI2018-09-16T08:15:20+00:00

DWI LAWS & PENALTIES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

The statutory structure of DWI/DUI laws and penalties are constantly changing and extremely difficult for a non-lawyer to understand. We have compiled a snapshot of DWI/DUI laws for you on this site. This is provided for general information purposes only.  We invite you to contact us for a free consultation so we can explain New Hampshire DUI laws to you in the context of your case.

THE DWI DEFENSE LEGAL GROUP CAN HELP YOU ATTACK THIS PROBLEM

FREE CASE EVALUATION

You should almost never agree to a breath test! People’s Blood Alcohol content varies depending on weight and time elapsed. The safe rule of thumb is if you have been drinking, then don’t blow.

Yes! You have a constitutional right to refuse all testing. If you are impaired, it is probably a wise decision to refuse. the court can consider your refusal but it is likely better than concrete proof of impairment.

Yes! Your choice of a lawyer is critical. The strategic decisions your lawyer makes may be the difference between guilty and not guilty.

New Hampshire does have a restricted license law. It is only available in certain circumstances and not until you have had your license suspended for 45 days.

This is a very complicated analysis which factors in your weight & time elapsed. Generally speaking, anything more than 2 drinks per hour and you are probably .08.

NH DWI

When you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Hampshire, you likely will face penalties from both the criminal court and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). While the criminal court can sentence you to jail time, fines, and alcohol education courses, the DMV has the power to take your license away—even before you are found guilty of drunk driving! This suspension is automatic unless contested and goes into effect 30 days from your arrest. In order to avoid an automatic administrative license suspension, you should contact one of our experienced DWI defense attorneys to request a hearing at the DMV.

During a drunk-driving arrest, you may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is above .08% or you refuse to take the test, the arresting officer will confiscate your license on the spot. You will also be issued a pink form that notifies you of your pending administrative license suspension, explains the procedures associated with requesting a hearing, and serves as a temporary driving permit for 30 days.

You have only 30 days to request a hearing with the DMV or else you waive your right to it forever. This hearing is conducted by a DMV employee who serves as the judge. Both sides may introduce witnesses to testify on their behalf, as well as any applicable evidence. The hearing officer will produce documents, which include police reports, the arresting officer’s affidavit, and breathalyzer results.

Typically, the decision regarding your license will be made several days after the hearing. If your request is denied, you can appeal the DMV’s decision.

Dealing with a New Hampshire administrative license suspension can be a difficult process, which is why having a defense attorney on your side is critical. Our attorneys can help you submit the hearing request, obtain proof that it was received by the DMV, and represent you during the hearing. If you don’t act quickly, your license can be suspended for 180 days if this is your first DWI or breathalyzer refusal and 2 years if it is a subsequent offense.

In New Hampshire, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) first offense is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. As a result of the conviction, you could be sentenced to severe penalties, which include protracted license loss, expensive court fines, alcohol and drug dependency evaluations, alcohol education classes, and in some circumstances, incarceration. If you are facing a New Hampshire DWI first offense charge, redeem your free consultation with one of our qualified DWI lawyers to find out how you can avoid the penalties and stigma associated with a drunk-driving conviction.

If you are charged with DWI, then the officer believes he has proof that you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The officer can prove your impairment in two ways. The officer may use his or her own observations regarding your driving, your general appearance, and your performance on the field sobriety tests to prove impairment. If you submit to chemical testing (breath test or blood test) you can be charged with “per se” DWI, this means that you tested over the legal limit (.08% for adults over 21) on the breathalyzer test. Obviously, it is easier to defend against the officer’s subjective observations then the results of a scientific test. This is why you should almost always refuse chemical tests, unless you have had very little to drink.

While you may not be ordered to serve mandatory jail time if you are convicted of a DWI first offense, the judge could order you to pay a fine of at least $500 (plus a 20% surcharge) and successfully complete an Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP). In addition, your license may be suspended for between three months to two years and you could be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

An aggravated DWI first offense may result in more severe penalties. For example, you will face minimum mandatory jail time (5 days) and protracted license suspension (18 months minimum).

There are collateral consequences to a conviction. For example, your insurance premiums could be substantially raised once your insurer learns about your drunk-driving offense, you will have to pay for an SR-22, not to mention, you will now have a criminal record that could make job hunting difficult.

You can be charged with a second offense driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Hampshire if your prior conviction was within ten years of the current offense date. You may not realize is how drastically the punishment is increased for those who commit a second DWI. While you are probably scared, you need to realize that fighting a second drunk-driving offense is definitely possible with our attorneys on your side.

A second offense DWI in New Hampshire is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. If you are convicted, there is mandatory jail time. For a second offense within two years, the mandatory jail time is 30 days and up to one year in jail (depending on the particular circumstances of your case).   

If your prior DWI conviction occurred more than two years ago, but less than ten years ago you will receive a mandatory 17 day jail sentence of which the Court may suspend up to 12 days leaving you to serve five days in jail.

In addition to jail time, there is a mandatory fine of $750.00 plus 24% penalty assessment and the fine could go as high as $2,000.00

Your license suspension period is also substantially increased to a minimum period of 3 years. After your license is reinstated, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in all of the vehicles registered in your name for a period of 12 months to 2 years. This is an expensive proposition as you will be responsible for the installation, rental, and maintenance costs associated with the device.  

There are many reasons why a New Hampshire driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense may be upgraded to an aggravated DWI charge. An aggravated DWI not only includes a longer license suspension period—it also carries mandatory jail time. If you have recently been arrested for a New Hampshire aggravated DWI, you should immediately contact us to begin preparing your defense in an effort to avoid life-altering penalties.

Some factors that may result in an aggravated DWI charge include: possessing a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .16% or higher, driving more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit while intoxicated, attempting to elude a police officer, transporting a passenger under the age of 16, and causing an accident resulting in serious personal injury. In fact, if you are involved in an accident that causes injuries, you could be charged with a felony offense, punishable by a minimum of 14 days in jail and a maximum of seven years in prison.

An aggravated DWI conviction has mandatory jail sentence (5 days) and an automatic 18 month license suspension. You will also be required to pay a fine between $750.00 and $2,000.00.  

After your license suspension is complete, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in all of your vehicles for at least one year. This device works as a miniature breathalyzer, and you must blow into it before the vehicle will start. If your BAC is higher than a certain limit, you cannot operate the vehicle and the court will be informed of this violation. You are responsible for the expenses associated with the ignition interlock device, and the monthly rental fee.

While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers over 21 is .08%, it is much lower for underage drivers. In fact, a driver under 21 can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) for having a BAC as low as .02%. If you or your child has recently been arrested for an Under 21 DWI in New Hampshire, you should immediately contact one of our  experienced DWI attorneys for help.

New Hampshire’s alcohol laws make it a crime for those under 21 to consume alcohol. That is why the legal limit for underage drivers is so low—even having one drink could cause an individual’s BAC to rise above .02%. And, in addition to being charged with an Under 21 DWI, a minor can also be charged with minor in possession of alcohol and minor consumption.

If convicted of an alcohol-related offense, a minor can receive a punishment that includes fines and a mandatory license suspension. If the minor does get his or her license back, he or she may be ordered to place an ignition interlock device in the vehicle until the age of 21. This small device measures the driver’s BAC before the vehicle will start. If the driver tests over a preset limit, the ignition will not start and the violation may be reported to the court.

If you have been charged with an Under 21 DWI or other alcohol offense, fighting your charges is possible. The breathalyzer machine is far from perfect, and there are a number of factors that could produce a false reading. For example, the use of gum, mint, mouthwash, cigarettes, and other tobacco products could result in an inflated BAC. Our trained DWI defense lawyers can review your test to determine if it was accurate.

Starting off your adult life with a criminal conviction can be difficult. Instead of enjoying school or applying to colleges, you have to worry about your sentence and the potential affect the offense can have on your life.

FIRST OFFENSE DWI

CLASS B MISDEMEANOR

FINES: $500 – $1,200 + 24% penalty assessment fee

LICENSE SUSPENSION: 9 months to 2 Years; 6 months may be suspended if appropriate program is completed within 30 days

OTHER: Requirement of Impaired Driver Care Management Program(IDCMP) alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days with a full substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction if necessary as determined by initial screening. Potential Interlock device installation.

SECOND OFFENSE DWI WITHIN 2 YEARS

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR

FINES: $750-$2,000

JAIL: Minimum 60 days with 30 days suspended if evaluation is scheduled within 30 days of release and completed within 60 days of release

LICENSE SUSPENSION: Minimum of 3 years

OTHER: Mandatory full substance use disorder evaluation; must comply with service plan

SECOND OFFENSE DWI WITHIN 2-10 YEARS

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR

FINES: $750-$2000 plus 24% penalty assessment fee

JAIL: Minimum 17 days in the county facility, 5 days are mandatory;12 days can be suspended if IDCMP substance abuse evaluation scheduled within 30 days of release and completed within 60 days of release

LICENSE SUSPENSION: Minimum of 3 years

THIRD OFFENSE DWI

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR

FINES: $750-$2000 plus 24% penalty assessment fee

JAIL: Minimum 180 days in the county facility, 150 can be suspended if IDCMP substance abuse evaluation scheduled within 30 days of release and completed within 60 days of release

LICENSE SUSPENSION: Minimum of 5 years

FOURTH OFFENSE DWI

FELONY

LICENSE SUSPENSION: Indefinite, but can apply for a license after 7 years

AGGRAVATED DWI

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR

FINES: $750-$2000 plus 24% penalty assessment fee

JAIL: Minimum 17 days in the county facility, 5 days are mandatory;12 days can be suspended if IDCMP substance abuse evaluation scheduled within 30 days of release and completed within 60 days of release

LICENSE SUSPENSION: 18 months to 2 years; 6 months may be suspended

OTHER: Must install interlock device

AGGRAVATED DWI CAUSING SERIOUS BODILY INJURY

CLASS B FELONY

FINES: $1,000

JAIL: Minimum 35 days with 21 days suspended if IDCMP substance abuse evaluation scheduled within 30 days of release and completed within 60 days of release

LICENSE SUSPENSION: 18 months to 2 years; 6 months may be suspended if substance abuse evaluation is scheduled within 30 days of release

OUR PLEDGE TO YOU

  • We will sit down with you free of charge and give you an honest case evaluation.

  • We will answer each and every question you have until you understand the process.

  • If hired to defend you, we will qork diligently to get you the result you deserve.

  • Lawyers who know how to get to “Not Guilty”

  • Lawyers that have handled thousands of cases like yours.

  • Lawyers that are respected by judges and feared by prosecutors.

  • Lawyers defined by their aggressive and hard fighting approach.

  • Lawyers with intimate knowledge of DWI laws and defenses.

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group

These guys fought like dogs o get me a not guilty. Great lawyers, great guys!

Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group

A DWI conviction would have cost me my job. These guys saved my life.

Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group

Thank you for pulling off a miracle. I am your client for life!

Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group

Attorney Sakellarios owned the Courtroom, My decision to hire him was the best decision I ever made. 

Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group

These guys know DWI/DUI defense like the back of their hand.

Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group
I was at an all-time low point and thought I was going to lose my job and my marriage. These guys saved my life. I wouldn’t trust any other firm with my DWI.
Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group
Truly great lawyers.
Testimonials - The DWI Defense Legal Group
I thought I was caught dead to rights and didn’t think there was any way I could get out of my charges. These lawyers are so good, by the end of my trial I wanted to sue the police department for false arrest.

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OFFICE LINE

+1 603-669-1738

24X7 EMAIL MONITORING

lawyer@nhnotguilty.com

OFFICE HOURS

9:00AM-5:00PM

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