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New Hampshire DWI Penalties

New Hampshire DWI Penalties

New Hampshire has serious penalties for all DWI convictions. If you are found guilty, you will be subjected to mandatory fines, mandatory license loss, have a criminal record, and be subject to mandatory jail time for a subsequent offense or for aggravated DWI. Some of the penalties increased January 1, 2013.

 

Standard First Offense DWI

Class B Misdemeanor

Fine: at least $620.

Loss of License 9 months, up to 2 years. (In certain circumstances the Court can reduce six months of the license loss if you enroll in an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of conviction, and, if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, to submit further to a full substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction). Minimum 1 year license loss if you are under 21 at the time of offense.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of conviction.

 

 

Aggravated DWI (all offenses except serious bodily injury)

Class A Misdemeanor.

Fine: at least $930.

Loss of License 18 months, up to 2 years. (In certain circumstances the Court can reduce six months of the license loss if you enroll in an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of conviction, and, if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, to submit further to a full substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction).

Mandatory Jail time 5 days, up to 1 year in jail. An additional 12 days of jail is suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of conviction.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

 

If Aggravated DWI is for causing serious bodily injury then it is a felony which includes mandatory 14 days in jail up to 3 and half years - 7 years in prison. Fine $1000-$4000. Plus other conditions of aggravated DWI.

Interlock Device required for 1-2 years upon license reinstatement.

 

Second Offense DWI (When first offense was within 10 years of date of second offense)

Class A Misdemeanor

Fine: at least $930.

Mandatory Jail time 5 days, up to 1 year in jail. An additional 12 days of jail is suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Loss of License 3+ years.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of license restoration.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

 

Second offense with First Offense within 2 Years of Date of Conviction for First Offense

Class A Misdemeanor

Fine: At least $930.

Mandatory Jail time 30 days, up to 1 year in jail. An additional 30 days of jail is suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of license restoration.

Interlock Device required for 1-2 years upon license reinstatement.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

 

Third Offense DWI

Class A Misdemeanor

Fine: at least $930.

Loss of License Indefinite – May be reinstated after 5 years for good cause.

Mandatory Jail time of not less than 180 consecutive days of which 150 days may suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of license restoration.

Interlock Device required for 1-2 years upon license reinstatement.

 

Fourth Offense or More DWI

Same Penalties as Third offense, except it is a Felony (which carries up to 7 years in prison), and you may only petition for a return of license after 7 years.

 

SR-22 Insurance

If you are found guilty of DWI you will be required to obtain SR-22 insurance prior to getting your license back. You will need this special insurance for 3 years from the date of conviction for a first offense[1], or 3 years from the date of restoration eligibility for a subsequent offense[2].

 

Probationary Status

You will be on probationary status for 3 years[3]. While on probation, you cannot drive with a BAC at or above .03[4], or you will be subject to a license suspension[5].

 

Alcohol Treatment Program

If found guilty of any type of DWI, you must do an Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDCMP). The process entails first seeing an alcohol counselor. That person will determine if you are at high risk to re-offend. If you are found at high risk, you will be subject to additional counseling. If no additional counseling is recommended, you must complete a 20 hour alcohol program. All of these things must be done prior to getting your license back. You have to pay the costs of the programs.

 

Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device

An interlock device is a machine the driver has to blow into in order to start the car, and occasionally while driving. If you are found guilty of aggravated DWI, or subsequent offense DWI, or operating after suspension of DWI, an interlock device is required for 1-2 years once the license is returned[6]. An interlock is optional in other circumstances, such as a driver under 21.

 

 

Major Offense toward Habitual Offender

DWI is a Major violation toward the Habitual Offender Law[7]. If you are certified as a Habitual Offender, you will lose your license for 1-4 years.

 

Operating after Suspension

If you drive while your license is suspended for DWI you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, you will be sent to jail for a minimum of 7 days, have an additional year license loss, and be required to have an interlock device installed in your car once you are eligible to obtain your license again.

 

Collateral Offenses

Besides the often mandatory penalties that are included with DWI convictions, there are often other collateral or potential consequences.

 

Out of State drivers

If you have a driver’s license from another State, New Hampshire will suspend your privilege to drive in New Hampshire. New Hampshire participates in a Driver License Compact[8]. As part of this compact, New Hampshire will forward a conviction of a DWI to the Home State. Once your home State learns of the conviction, they will usually reciprocate, and suspend your driver’s license for the period of suspension that would occur had the DWI taken place in the Home State. Your home State will often include other conditions as they would have occurred as if the DWI happened in that State. It is important to consult with a lawyer who is licensed in the State where your license was issued to fully understand the potential consequences of being found guilty of DWI.

 

Drivers Under 21

If you are under 21 and convicted of DWI, besides the license loss of at least one year, you shall not be eligible for reissuance of a license prior to the age of 21 unless you satisfy the director after an administrative hearing that you will drive in a safe manner if the license is issued. The director may place such restrictions on any license so issued as the director deems in the best interest of public safety[9].

 

Travel to Foreign Countries

If you are convicted of DWI you will have a criminal record. Some countries will not permit the driver to enter the country.

If you want to travel to Canada, the general rule for Canada, is that an “indictable offense”, as defined by the Canadian Code, can prohibit entry as an excludable offense[10]. DWI is an indictable offense[11].

So, typically, you will not be able to travel to Canada unless you are “rehabilitated”. In some cases even an arrest without conviction may prohibit your entry. You may want to talk with a Canadian Consulate to determine your eligibility.

 

Immigration Consequences

If the DWI charge is a Felony, or punishable by one year in jail, there can be immigration consequences that include being deported. This category would include all aggravated DWIs and subsequent DWIs, but exclude all standard first offense DWIs.

However, if you are seeking to become a citizen, a criminal record can have negative consequences. It is best to speak with a lawyer who deals with immigration issues to determine any possible consequences of a DWI on your record.

 

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

If you have a CDL, you will lose your CDL for at least one year upon a DWI conviction, or an ALS suspension regarding the implied consent statute[12]. The BAC limit in New Hampshire for a CDL is .04[13].

If you were transporting hazardous materials at the time, the license loss will be at least 3 years[14]. For a second offense, there will be a lifetime loss of CDL, but you may apply for reinstatement after 10 years[15].

It does not matter if you were in a vehicle requiring a CDL at the time of driving, only that you had a CDL.

 

Loss of Boating Privileges

If you are convicted of DWI, you will lose the privilege to operate a motorboat for a period of one year from the date of conviction[16].

 

Possible Pilot License Consequences          

Anyone who holds a pilot’s license must notify the FAA of an ALS suspension or DWI conviction within 60 days[17]. Failure to report can result in an investigation and certificate action.

 

Demerit Points Suspension

A DWI conviction counts as 6 points on a license. A certain number of points within a certain time can result in license suspension.



[1] Saf-C 207.12(a)

[2] Saf-C 207.12(c)

[3] Saf-C 204.03(d)

[4] Saf-C 204.03(f)

[5] Saf-C 204.03(g)

[6] N.H. RSA 265-A:36

[7] N.H. RSA 259:39(I)(k) & N.H. RSA 259:39(I)l)

[8] N.H. RSA 263:77 See also Saf-C 204.07

[9] N.H. RSA 263:14(V)

[10] Please note I am not licensed to practice law in Canada, and therefore any advice related to Canada is not legal advice, and should not be relied on, and should be confirmed for any accuracy or inaccuracies.

[12] N.H. RSA 264:94

[13] N.H. RSA 265-A:23

[14] N.H. RSA 264:94(II)

[15] N.H. RSA 264:94(III)

[16] N.H. RSA 265-A:20

[17] 14 C.F.R. 61.15

Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship. We work with other lawyers throughout Massachusetts.

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N.H. DWI Lawyers Address: Dan Hynes 206 Fair St. Laconia NH 03246 Phone: 603-384-3264