Vermont DUI     |     New York DWI     |     Massachusetts OUI     |     Oregon DUI

 

The New Hampshire DWI Guide

new hampshire dwi attorney

NewHampshireDWI.pro

 

 

For Attorneys

 

 

Manchester

 


 

Aggravated DWI

Administrative License Suspension

 

 

Criminal Charges

ALS Hearings

 

Chapter 265-A:2

Chapter 265-A:3

 

 

 

Division of Motor Vehicles

Bureau of Hearings

DMV Hearings

 

 

 

Request for ALS Hearing

 

 

 

I just got arrested for a State of New Hampshire DWI charge.  What happens next?

 

ISSUE ONE:  The New Hampshire Implied Consent / Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Proceeding:  Under New Hampshire law, any person who drives, operates, or attempts to operate a vehicle shall be deemed to have given consent to physical tests and examinations for the purpose of determining whether such person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled drugs, and to a chemical test of the person’s blood, urine, or breath, for the purpose of determining the controlled drug content of such person's blood or alcohol concentration if arrested for a DWI.  The test or tests shall be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer, peace officer, or authorized agent having reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled drugs or while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, or in the case of a person under the age of 21, 0.02 or more.  This law is referred to as "implied consent."

 

Pursuant to NH implied consent law, your New Hampshire drivers license (or your right to drive in New Hampshire if you're not a New Hampshire licensed driver) was most likely suspended for anywhere from six months to two years for failing or refusing a chemical (breath / blood / urine) test.  This suspension typically starts on the 30th day following your arrest.  [If you had a valid New Hampshire license at the time of your arrest, you should have been given a temporary permit that allows you to drive for the 30 days following your DUI arrest.]

 

Read your paperwork carefully.  If you act quickly, you can request an administrative hearing (or administrative review) to challenge your proposed suspension.  After a timely request, an administrative hearing will be scheduled.  This hearing is commonly referred to as an ALS Hearing

 

Speak to your New Hampshire DWI attorney for more information about contesting your implied consent / administrative license suspension. 

 

 

ISSUE TWO:  The New Hampshire DWI / DUI / OUI Criminal Case:  Separate from the administrative license suspension proceeding is the criminal charge either for Driving or Operating Under Influence of Drugs or Liquor; Driving or Operating With Excess Alcohol Concentration (the standard charge) or for Aggravated DWI (the aggravated or enhanced charge). 

 

Under New Hampshire's law, no person shall drive or attempt to drive a vehicle upon any way:

While such person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug, prescription drug, over-the-counter drug, or any other chemical substance, natural or synthetic, which impairs a person's ability to drive; or

― While such person has an alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more or in the case of a person under the age of 21, 0.02 percent or more.  [Driving with excessive alcohol concentration is sometimes referred to as a per se DUI or per se DWI.]

A person commits the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated if the person drives or attempts to drive a vehicle upon any way when any of the following apply:

― While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug or any combination of intoxicating liquor and controlled drug or drugs and, at the time alleged:

(a) Drives or operates at a speed more than 30 miles per hour in excess of the prima facie limit;

(b) Causes a motor vehicle collision resulting in serious bodily injury to the person or another;

(c) Attempts to elude pursuit by a law enforcement officer by increasing speed, extinguishing headlamps while still in motion, or abandoning a vehicle while being pursued; or

(d) Carries as a passenger a person under the age of 16.

 

― While having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or, in the case of a person under the age of 21 at the time of the offense, 0.02 or more and, at the time alleged:


(a) Drives or operates at a speed more than 30 miles per hour in excess of the prima facie limit;

(b) Causes a motor vehicle collision resulting in serious bodily injury to the person or another;

(c) Attempts to elude pursuit by a law enforcement officer by increasing speed, extinguishing headlamps while still in motion, or abandoning a vehicle while being pursued; or

(d) Carries as a passenger a person under the age of 16.

― While having an alcohol concentration of 0.16 percent or more.

Important:  The implied consent / administrative license suspension proceeding and the criminal DUI / DWI / OUII / Aggravated DWI case are completely separate from one another. 

 

Will my New Hampshire driver license be suspended or revoked?

 

RELATED TO ISSUE ONE ABOVE:  Your New Hampshire driver license (or your right to drive in New Hampshire if you do not have a valid New Hampshire license) may be suspended in the administrative license suspension proceeding for failing or for refusing a breath, blood, or urine test for alcohol and / or drugs.  For a first offense, the suspension is typically for six months; for a second offensetwo years.  Again, you may challenge this proposed suspension in an administrative hearing this revocation if you make a timely hearing request.

 

 

RELATED TO ISSUE TWO ABOVE:  If you are convicted of the DUI / DWI or Aggravated DWI charge, you will also lose your drivers license (or your right to drive in New Hampshire if you don't have a valid New Hampshire license) for from nine months to up to two years for a first offense (though part of the revocation time may be shortened by the court).  This revocation is separate and distinct from the administrative license suspension.  Talk to your New Hampshire DWI lawyer for possible suspension lengths for your situation.

 

 

Also keep in mind that your license can be revoked for a variety of reasons unrelated to a NH DWI arrest.

 

What happens if I get caught driving while my license is revoked?

 

Driving while your license is revoked should be avoided as it is a new misdemeanor offense.  Penalties include a $1000 fine and at least seven days jail time.  You will also lose your right to drive for an additional year.  If you're on probation for a DUI / DWI conviction, driving on a suspended or revoked license will also violate your probation.

 

I really need to drive.  Will I be able to get a restricted / limited / occupational / conditional / probationary permit?

 

Unlike some states, New Hampshire does not offer a restricted license when you're suspended or revoked following a DWI arrest / conviction.  However, the court may suspend up to six months of the court ordered revocation provided that you enter into a impaired driver intervention program (I.D.I.P.) in a timely manner.

 

What is the difference between a DUI, DWI, OWI, OUI etc.?

 

These terms are all acronyms that refer to the offense commonly known as "drunk driving."  Different states have different names for the crime.  For example, in Iowa the acronym OWI (operating while impaired / intoxicated) is used; Oregon uses the term DUII (driving under the influence of an intoxicant).  New Hampshire law uses the terms: Driving or Operating Under Influence of Drugs or Liquor and Driving or Operating With Excess Alcohol Concentration and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated.  The acronym DWI is most commonly used here.  In this website, the terms DUI and DWI are used interchangeably.

 

Is a DWI offense in New Hampshire a misdemeanor or felony charge?

 

In New Hampshire, a DUI / Aggravated DWI is usually a misdemeanor crime.  However, an Aggravated DWI involving a motor vehicle collision resulting in serious bodily injury is a felony charge.  Also, your fourth or subsequent DUI or aggravated DWI conviction within 10 years is a felony offense.

 

The court may reduce a first DUI conviction to a violation (a non-criminal offense) upon a motion filed by either party at least one year after the date of the conviction.  In deciding whether to reduce the conviction to a violation, the court will generally consider the person's subsequent driving record, any evidence of drug or alcohol treatment, the hardship that having a criminal record may cause for the person, and other factors.

 

What type of penalties might I face if I am convicted of an New Hampshire DUI / Aggravated DWI charge?

 

Upon conviction of an New Hampshire drunk driving offense, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties including entering and completing an impaired driver intervention program (drug / alcohol treatment and counseling).  A range of penalties is set forth below: 

 


NEW HAMPSHIRE DWI PENALTY CHART

CONVICTION TYPICAL PENALTIES
FIRST STANDARD DUI / DWI
(first offense w/in 10 years)
Class B Misdemeanor
  • fine of $500 or more;
  • license revocation ranging from nine months to two years (court may suspend up to six months of the revocation);
  • jail time possible, not required.
FIRST AGGRAVATED DWI
No Serious Bodily Injury
(first offense w/in 10 years)
Class A Misdemeanor

  • fine of $750 or more;
  • license revocation ranging from 18 months to two years (court may suspend up to six months of the revocation);
  • at least three days jail plus seven days in-patient program (penalties increase in 2013).

FIRST AGGRAVATED DWI
Serious Bodily Injury
(first offense w/in 10 years)
Class B Felony

  • fine of $1000 or more;
  • license revocation ranging from 18 months to two years (court may suspend up to six months of the revocation);
  • at least 14 days jail plus seven days in-patient program.
SECOND STANDARD DUI / DWI
(second offense w/in 10 years)
Class A Misdemeanor
  • fine of $750 or more;
  • three year license revocation;
  • if the prior offense occurred within the past two years, 30 days jail plus seven days in-patient treatment;
  • if the prior offense occurred between two and 10 years ago, 10 days jail plus seven days in-patient treatment.
Note 1:  The critical look back period for prior convictions is 10 years.
Note 2:  A third conviction within 10 years results in a five year license revocation and substantially more jail time.

Will my defense lawyer be able to plea bargain / negotiate my New Hampshire DUI / DWI charge down to another (lesser) offense?

Possibly.  Any experienced New Hampshire DWI lawyer will attempt to negotiate with the prosecution on his client's behalf.  Sometimes, your only option will be to plead guilty to the charge or take your case to trial.

Will a New Hampshire DUI / DWI conviction go on "my driving record?"

Yes.  A DWI / DUI conviction will go on your New Hampshire driving record and remain indefinately.

Just how much jail / prison time will I have to do if I am convicted of a DUI in New Hampshire?

The amount of jail time received will depend on a number of different factors, including (but not limited to) the following:

•  your prior driving record especially your DWI history (including any DWI'S / OWI's / DUI's outside of New Hampshire);

•  your level of intoxication / BAC (BAC of 0.16 or greater can generate greater penalties);

•  whether there was an accident involved;

•  whether there was injury (especially serious bodily injury) to a person;

•  which New Hampshire county or court your case is in;

•  what judge you are sentenced by;

•  whether there was a passenger / child in your car;

•  whether the judge feels you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

 

I am licensed to drive in a state other than New Hampshire and I was cited for a DUI / DWI in New Hampshire.  Will my driver license be revoked or suspended?

New Hampshire only has the authority to revoke your right to drive in the State of New Hampshire.  However, New Hampshire and 44 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted an agreement known as the "Driver License Compact."  New Hampshire will report a driving under the influence / aggravated DWI conviction to the home state of the driver (assuming the home state has also adopted the Compact).  Your home state will then generally take action to suspend or revoke your license.

This also works in reverse.  If you are a New Hampshire licensed driver and you are convicted of a DWI / OWI / DUI in another state, New Hampshire will revoke your license if it learns of the conviction. 

Will I have to install an Ignition Interlock Device on my car?

 

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath alcohol measurement device that is connected to a motor vehicle ignition system.  In order to start the vehicle, a driver must blow a breath sample into the IID which then measures alcohol concentration.  If the alcohol concentration exceeds the startup set point on the interlock device, the vehicle will not start.  The device also requires the driver to blow into the device at periodic intervals while driving in order to prevent cheating. 

 

Beginning in 2013, you will likely have to install a IID in your vehicle if you are convicted of any DWI.  Prior to 2013, an IID was generally required for an Aggravated DWI  or a second or subsequent standard DWI / DUI offense.  Speak to your New Hampshire DWI lawyer to see if the IID requirement applies to your situation.

What will a New Hampshire DUI do to my ability to keep / maintain liability insurance?

If your insurance company finds out about your DWI conviction one of two things are likely to happen.  Either your New Hampshire insurer will raise your rates or your insurance policy may be cancelled or non-renewed.  Your insurance company will learn of your DUI / DWI arrest if you have to file an SR-22.

What is an SR-22 Filing?

An SR-22 is a certificate of "proof of liability insurance" submitted by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New Hampshire.  The New Hampshire DMV requires the certificate be either for Owner or Non Owner.  If an Owner SR-22 is submitted it must NOT list your vehicles but state, "Any Vehicles Owned by the Insured."  If a Non-Owner, it must state, "Any Vehicles Driven by the Insured." An SR-22 is valid until cancelled. 

New Hampshire requires an SR-22 filing for the three years following a first DUI / DWI conviction and five years following a second conviction.

My NH DWI involved an accident.  Do I need to file a New Hampshire accident report?

If you are involved in a vehicle accident in New Hampshire whether or not it involved a DWI, you must report it to DMV if:

  • There was combined property damage of more than $1000; or
  • any one was injured (no matter how minor) or killed.

Each driver must make file a report to DMV within 15 days regardless of fault.  Failure to file a report is a criminal offense.

Are there special concerns for licensed pilots who get an New Hampshire DUI?

 

Yes.  The FAA has special reporting requirements for certain Motor Vehicle Actions including New Hampshire DWI convictions and implied consent administrative license suspensions.  Learn more here.

I missed my court appearance.  What do I do now?

Failing to appear (FTA) for court is to be avoided.  When you miss a DWI court appearance, bad things happen.  At a minimum, the New Hampshire court typically issues a warrant for your arrest (often known as a bench warrant).  You may also face a new, additional criminal charge.  Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.  Often, your only option is to turn yourself in on the outstanding warrant.  A new court date will then be scheduled.

Can I represent myself in court on my New Hampshire DWI or other criminal charge(s)?

Yes.  You have an absolute constitutional right to represent yourself on any criminal charge no matter how serious including an New Hampshire DWI charge.  Keep in mind that New Hampshire DWI defense is a complex area of the law as shown by the information in this website.  If you cannot afford to hire your own lawyer, you definitely should apply for a court appointed attorney.  You have no right to court appointed counsel at any administrative license suspension hearing.

 

Websites, including this one, provide general New Hampshire DWI information but do not provide legal advice or create an attorney / client relationship.  General information cannot replace legal advice about your case, criminal charge, or situation.  Consult qualified New Hampshire Drunk Driving - DUI lawyers / attorneys for advice about any specific problem or New Hampshire DWI that you have.  New Hampshire lawyers are governed by the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct.  This website may be considered an advertisement for services under these Rules.  Information contained in this website is believed to be accurate but is not warranted or guaranteed in any way.  No attorney associated with this website is specialized or certified in any way.  This site is an informational website.  NH DWI FAQ's.  2013

 

Providing drunk driving (DWI / DUI) and criminal defense assistance to the communities of:  Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Rochester, Salem, Dover, Merrimack, Hillsborough County, and Merrimack County and to College and University students.  Beat a DWI.  What happens with a NH DWI.  New Hampshire lawyers may accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards. 

 

Alabama DUI   Alaska DUI   Arizona DUI   Arkansas DWI   California DUI   Colorado DUI   Connecticut DUI   Delaware DUI   Florida DUI   Georgia DUI   Hawaii DUI   Idaho DUI   Illinois DUI   Indiana DUI   Iowa OWI   Kansas DUI   Kentucky DUI   Louisiana DWI   Maine OUI   Maryland DUI   Massachusetts OUI   Michigan OWI   Minnesota DWI   Missouri DWI   Montana DUI   Nebraska DWI   Nevada DUI   New Jersey DWI   New Mexico DWI   New York DWI   North Carolina DWI  

North Dakota DUI   Ohio DUI   Oklahoma DUI   Oregon DUI   Pennsylvania DUI   Rhode Island DUI   South Carolina DUI   South Dakota DUI   Tennessee DUI   Texas DWI  Utah DUI   Vermont DUI   Virginia DUI   Washington State DUI   Washington D.C. DWI   West Virginia DUI   Wisconsin OWI   Wyoming DWUI

 

.07% .08% .09% .10% .11% .12% .13% .14% .15% .16% .17% .18% .19% .20% .21% .22% .23% .24% .25% .26% .27% .28% .29%   Driving under the Influence; driving while intoxicated; aggravated DWI; Friday, Saturday. 

 

© Copyright 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.