The great state of New Hampshire is known for its beautiful fall foliage and incredible snow activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. The state sees significant tourist traffic, so it is no surprise the DUI laws in New Hampshire are relatively harsh compared to some other states. While the fine amounts tend to be lower, the rest of the penalties should surely be enough to warrant second thoughts before taking a drink and getting behind the wheel.
First DUI Conviction Penalties in New Hampshire
Whereas many states will only require a two-day stay in jail if convicted, New Hampshire actually has a 10-day minimum sentence. This is fairly significant, with subsequent convictions resulting in dramatically longer jail sentences. As stated above, the fines are fairly reasonable, ranging from $500 to $700 for first time offenders. Anyone convicted will also face a license suspension ranging from nine months to 18 months, but an interlock ignition device is not required for first time offenders.
Like many states today, New Hampshire has an “implied consent” law. By refusing to take the mandated chemical tests, you will face an automatic 180-day license suspension for the first DUI offense in New Hampshire. Please realize that this suspension will stick regardless of whether or not you are convicted. Second and third offenders refusing to take the chemical tests will automatically receive a two-year license suspension.
What is Considered Intoxicated in New Hampshire?
Any driver of age that is not driving a commercial vehicle is considered intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol level is found to be .08 percent or higher. Commercial drivers are given less leeway, as they are considered intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .04 percent or higher. Underage drivers are permitted only .02 percent before they will be considered intoxicated.
Should I Hire a New Hampshire DUI Lawyer if I am Arrested?
If you are arrested and fail the chemical tests, you are best served to hire a skilled, local DUI attorney rather than face the charges on your own or depend on a court appointed attorney. Local attorneys specializing in DUI law are more familiar with the laws and will generally have much lighter caseloads than court appointed lawyers. With a plea bargain of “wet reckless” a very real possibility for borderline cases, you will not want to leave anything to chance. Fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form for more information as well as a complete listing of recommended DUI lawyers in New Hampshire.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.