Information on Ignition Interlock Devices in the Granite State of NH
With DUI/DWI offense charges and convictions, the NH Ignition Interlock laws around this offense are the same in all cities in the state of New Hampshire including Nashua, Concord, Manchester, Hampton, Salem, Keene, Portsmouth, Derry, Bedford, and everywhere else in the state. Regardless of where the DUI arrest occurs, drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Should individuals be convicted, they face a number of penalties including fines, a license suspension, and having to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in order to legally drive any vehicle in NH.
Having a BAC of 0.08 percent is the standard for being charged with DUI in NH or another drinking and driving related crime in almost all US states. This is due to government research that tested the effects of alcohol on the ability to drive – most individuals were too impaired to drive with a BAC of 0.05 percent, and all individuals were too impaired to drive with a BAC of 0.08 percent. Additionally, minors with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more can be charged with DUI as well as commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more. If a driver wishes to explore all options for how to prevent the Ignition Interlock requirement and avoid a suspended driver’s license in New Hampshire, they need to have their arrest circumstances reviewed by us online as soon as possible after the DUI or DWI arrest charge.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in New Hampshire?
When drivers are charged and then convicted of DUI in the state of New Hampshire, they face a wide variety of penalties as punishment for their crime, which also will likely include having to install an Ignition Interlock device. The government uses these punishments to discourage individuals from repeating the behavior again in the future. First time DUI offenders in the state of New Hampshire face penalties including but not limited to:
- Minimum 10 Days in Jail
- Fines Between $500 and $750
- Driver’s License Suspension Between Nine and 18 Months
- Installing an Ignition Interlock to Legally Drive in NH
Repeat offenders, or those who get charged and convicted of a 2nd DUI offense in NH, face harsher penalties. People who are considered repeat offenders when they have a drinking and driving conviction within the last 10 years of their current conviction. Second time DUI offenders in the state of New Hampshire, or those with one previous DUI offense, face penalties including but not limited to:
- Minimum 30 Days in Jail
- Minimum $750 Fine
- Minimum Driver’s License Suspension of Three Years
- A DUI Interlock Requirement for NH Driver’s License Reinstatement
Third time DUI offenders in the state of New Hampshire, or those with two previous DUI offenses, face penalties including but not limited to:
- Minimum 180 Days in Jail
- Minimum $750 Fine
- Indefinite Driver’s License Suspension
- NH Ignition Interlock Device Requirement to Get a Driver’s License Back
Aggravated DUI Law in New Hampshire
For a person arrested for DUI in New Hampshire who falls under any of the following categories, their DUI charge is labelled “Aggravated DUI.” Being convicted of Aggravated DUI very likely increases an individual’s punishments including higher fines, longer license suspensions, and longer jail sentences, and having to get an Ignition Interlock installed for a much longer period of time. Drivers can be charged with Aggravated DUI when one of the following circumstances applies to them:
- DUI results in an accident that causes serious injury
- Driving over the speed limit by 30 MPH
- Attempting to elude police officers
- Having a BAC of 0.16 percent or more
- Having a passenger in the vehicle under 16 years of age
What is an Ignition Interlock Device for NH DUI Charges and How Does It Work?
An IID is a mechanism that operates much like a Car Breathalyzer and is installed in DUI offenders vehicles and potentially any other vehicles registered in their name. This NH DUI Interlock device is used to deter offenders from drinking and driving. This is done by requiring drivers to provide a breath sample into the device before the vehicle can be started – should the sample have a BAC of above the pre-programmed threshold, the device prevents the vehicle from starting. In the state of New Hampshire, this threshold is general calibrated at 0.02 percent.
Most of the Ignition Interlock devices in New Hampshire are programmed to require random retests after the vehicle has started – this is meant to prevent a third party from providing the breath sample when offenders are in fact driving the car. Whenever prompted, drivers need to provide another breath sample – should the sample have a blood alcohol content level of above the pre-programmed threshold, the Interlock device does not turn the engine off, but a signal is given to stop the vehicle, an alarm sounds until the vehicle is turned off, and the event is logged and stored in the device’s memory.
When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of New Hampshire?
Courts in the state of New Hampshire have authorized the installation of an Ignition Interlock device as a condition for DUI offenders to have their driving privileges reinstated. While the installation and maintenance of this IID can be ordered for any offender, specific offenders, such as those charged and convicted of Aggravated DUI or repeat DUI offenders, will likely be ordered to use this device. Often times, the use of an Interlock is required for a person to get their driver’s license reinstated for a period of six months to two years following their license reinstatement.
Who Pays for the Cost of the Ignition Interlock Device in NH?
In almost all DUI cases where offenders are ordered to use and install an Ignition Interlock in NH, those who are convicted of the DUI or DWI charges are responsible for paying all the costs associated with installing and maintaining the device. People who have to complete this process should expect to pay upwards of $100 to have the Interlock device installed as well as between $75 and $120 a month to lease the device. It is important to keep in mind these costs are just rough estimates, and prices vary between NH Ignition Interlock providers – some providers even offer free IID installation.
What is the Process of Getting an Ignition Interlock Device in New Hampshire?
After a person is ordered to get a DUI Interlock as a means to have their New Hampshire driving privileges reinstated, they likely have a window of time in which they need to lease the IID, have it installed, and provide proof to the court that the process has been completed. Individuals then need to contact a state approved Ignition Interlock device provider to obtain the device – the state of New Hampshire has approved IID providers across the state, and a full list of these providers can be located on the New Hampshire DMV website.
When the device has been leased from a New Hampshire state approved provider, the DUI/DWI Interlock also needs to be professionally installed in order to remain within the state’s guidelines for IID use. After the entire process is completed, it is not uncommon for offenders to provide proof to either the court, their probation officer, the judge, and/or the DMV that the device has been leased from an approved provider and installed professionally. Most often, this proof comes in the form of the lease agreement or installation receipt. When a New Hampshire Ignition Interlock attorney reviews a driver’s own situation online with us, they can then be in a proper position to inform a driver of any possible DUI defenses for how to prevent having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed in:
[column col=”1/4″]Belknap County