If you were arrested for a New Hampshire DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s). In New Hampshire, DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI are synonymous. If arrested for DWI, the law enforcement officer believed that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. However, in New Hampshire, you can be convicted of DWI even if you’re below.08% and it’s proven that your ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree. Below we have outlined the most important information for you to inform yourself about New Hampshire DWI.
New Hampshire DWI Penalties
IMPORTANT: NEW HAMPSHIRE LAW STATES THAT YOU HAVE 30 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING IN WRITING WITH THE NEW HAMPSHIRE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. You or your New Hampshire DWI attorney must submit a letter requesting your administrative hearing within 30 days of being arrested, or your license will be automatically suspended.
If you are convicted of a first-time New Hampshire DWI, you can expect to pay fines up to $2,000 and be subjected to various other penalties that the court deems fit. You face mandatory outpatient treatment program and a minimum suspension of 9 months, which can be reduced to 3 months if certain conditions are met.
You should also know that if you’re found to have a BAC in excess of 0.16% or you caused bodily injury in a DWI accident, or were in excess of 30 m.p.h. over the speed limit, or attempted to flee or elude the police – you will be charged with Aggravated DWI. The fines and penalties are increased substantially for Aggravated DWI. An Aggravated DWI can trigger mandatory jail time up to 1 year, the loss of your driver’s license for up to 2 years, and when you get your license back – the mandatory installation of ignition interlock device (IID) which can cost up to $100 a month. For more information regarding IIDs, click HERE.
If this is your 2nd New Hampshire DWI within two years, and you’re found guilty, you will spend a minimum of 30 days in jail. If convicted of a 2nd DUI between two and ten years, the mandatory minimum for jail is 5 days. A 2nd DWI will also be subjected higher fines, longer DUI school and probation, and a 3 year license suspension.
New Hampshire DWI Lawyers
A DWI arrest is not a DWI conviction. New Hampshire DWI attorneys defend DWI offenses and drunk driving cases in New Hampshire. A good New Hampshire DWI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases. DWI attorneys will be able to offer you DWI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DWI charges and the case with New Hampshire Department of Public Safety, regarding your license suspension or revocation.
General New Hampshire DWI Information
Do I Need To Have SR-22 Insurance?
Yes. New Hampshire requires that you carry SR-22 coverage for 3 years from your conviction. A New Hampshire DWI attorney will be able to describe in more detail the steps you need to take to get SR-22. For comprehensive information related to SR-22, check out our page HERE.
In New Hampshire, you do not have the right to a jury trial, only a court trial, for your first DWI. Only if you’re charged with Aggravated DWI do you have that option to have your matter heard before a jury. The criminal process and negotiations with the prosecutor are best suited for a specialized New Hampshire DWI attorney. Speak with a New Hampshire DWI attorney as soon as possible to assist you with your case.