Drunk Driving Defense Law in New Hampshire

An arrest for Driving Under the Influence in New Hampshire means that you are now facing some severe penalties if you are convicted. Not only have you had to go through the traffic stop, field sobriety tests, being arrested, taking a Breathalyzer test and posting bond, your driver’s license will soon be suspended –- even before a conviction. An experienced, knowledgeable attorney can provide advice during this difficult time and help you as you build a strong defense against the charges.

The blood alcohol concentration limit in New Hampshire is .08 percent; however, an officer may charge someone with DUI if he or she has a BAC of .03 percent or higher if the officer believes that the driver is impaired. If a driver has a BAC of .16 percent or higher, he or she will likely be charged with aggravated DUI. That charge can also be levied against a driver if he or she is responsible for serious injuries or death in an accident in which he or she was driving under the influence.

What Are the Penalties for a Class A Misdemeanor for Driving Under the Influence Conviction in New Hampshire?

If you are convicted of a first-time DUI, you will have certain time limits to complete various programs. Some of these could help you get a reduction in your driver’s license revocation requirements. For example, you have 14 days to complete an Impaired Driver Care Management Program. If the results of the screen are negative, then you must complete a Weekend Impaired Driver Education Program or an Impaired Driver Education Program. However, if the screening is positive, you will have 30 days to complete a full substance use disorder evaluation. If you do not complete any of the above steps, then your driving privileges will not be restored until you complete an Impaired Driver Care Management Program.

Other penalties include:

  • A fine of at least $500.
  • Revocation of driving privileges for at least nine months and up to two years. Six months of this revocation may be suspended.
  • An ignition interlock device may be required.
  • Random urinalysis may be required by the court.

After one year, a motion may be filed to reduce the DUI conviction to a violation.

What Are the Penalties for a Class B Misdemeanor Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated Conviction in New Hampshire?

The penalties for aggravated DWI are more severe than for a first offense. Those penalties include:

  • Fine of at least $750.
  • At least 17 days in jail. Twelve of those days can be suspended.
  • Ignition Interlock Device must be installed.
  • Revocation of driving privileges for at least 18 months and up to two years. Six months of this revocation may be suspended.
  • Random urinalysis may be required by the court.

What Are the Penalties for a Class B Felony Aggravated DWI Conviction in New Hampshire?

Depending on how the charge is filed, you could be facing a misdemeanor or a felony offense. For those facing a Class B Felony, the possible penalties include:

  • A fine of at least $1,000.
  • At least 35 days in jail. Twenty-one of those days may, at the court’s discretion, be suspended.
  • An Ignition Interlock Device must be installed.
  • Revocation of driving privileges for at least 18 months and up to two years.
  • Random urinalysis may be required by the court.

As you can see, the penalties for DUI or DWI in New Hampshire can vary greatly depending on how the offense is charged. An experienced, knowledgeable attorney can provide valuable advice as your case makes its way through the criminal justice system.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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