New Hampshire’s Driving While Intoxicated Statute received an overhaul with the passage of new legislation that went into effect on January 1st, 2013.
The statute penalizing Driving While Intoxicated, NH RSA 265-A:2 was amended:
No person shall drive or attempt to drive a vehicle upon a way or operate or attempt to operate an OHRV;
(A) 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 any combination of intoxicating liquor and controlled drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or any other chemical substances, natural or synthetic, which impair a person’s ability to drive.
DWI Penalties in New Hampshire
If you are convicted of DWI 1st Offense you face the following penalties:
- Conviction for a DWI 1st Offense is a Class B Misdemeanor;
- You will receive a minimum fine of $500 plus court imposed penalty assessment;
- You will be referred to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program or “IDCMP”
- You will be required to complete a drug and alcohol screening. If the screening reveals a likely substance abuse disorder you will be required to complete a full substance abuse disorder evaluation and thereafter follow the service plan developed from that evaluation;
- You will be required to complete an approved Driver Education Program prior to the restoration of your driver’s license or privilege to drive;
- You will be required to pay all fees associated with these programs; You will lose your driver’s license for 9 months and up to 2 years;
The Court may suspend 6 months of the license loss IF you obtain a drug and alcohol abuse screen within 14 days of the conviction and, if required, you complete a full drug and alcohol abuse evaluation within 30 days of conviction AND you are in compliance with the service plan AND you have completed an approved Drivers Education Program;
The Court may require the installation of an interlock device during the period of sentence reduction.
2nd Offense DWI Laws in New Hampshire as of January 1st 2013
(after 2 years of your 1st conviction but within 10 years)
NH Court Penalties:
Class A misdemeanor (Up to 1 year in Jail)
$750 fine (Plus court imposed penalty assessment)
17 consecutive days in jail
12 days are suspended
Must complete a full substance use disorder evaluation to be scheduled within 30 days of release and to be completed within 60 days of release and comply with the plan developed
3 year court imposed loss of license
2 year loss of license, which will run with or on top of the 3 year license suspension period, depending on whether you consented to a breath / blood test
SR-22 insurance will be required before you can drive. DWI conviction will go down on your driving record as a major motor vehicle offense. Please see our page on Habitual Offender status!
2nd DWI CONVICTION in NH
(within 2 years of your first DWI conviction)
Class A misdemeanor conviction (Up to 1 year in jail)
$750 fine (plus court imposed penalty assessment)
Mandatory sentence of 60 days in jail with 30 days suspended
You shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release
You complete the substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release
3 year court imposed loss of license
2 years loss of license, which will run with or on top of the 3 year license suspension period, depending on whether you consented to a breath/blood test.
SR-22 insurance will be required before you can drive. DWI conviction will go down on your driving record as a major motor vehicle offense.
3rd DWI Offense in New Hampshire
The penalties for a 3rd Driving While Intoxicated Offense include:
Conviction for a Class A Misdemeanor – You face up to a year in jail, 2 years of probation and a $2,000 fine.
You will receive a mandatory 180 days in jail with 150 days suspended upon completion of all necessary programming and remaining out of trouble;
You will be referred to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program to schedule a fill substance use disorder. You shall schedule this evaluation within 30 days of your release from jail. You shall complete the substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release and comply with the plan developed.
Your license is suspended indefinitely and shall not be restored for at least 5 years. At the end of 5 years you may petition the court for eligibility to reapply for a license. You will then need to be reinstated at the DMV.
You shall install an interlock device in your vehicle for not less than 12 months and up to 2 years once your license is reinstated.
Felony Aggravated DWI in NH
A DWI in NH can become a Felony level Aggravated DWI in New Hampshire when you cause a motor vehicle, boating or OHRV collision resulting in serious bodily injury to yourself or another person. Needless to say, a Felony conviction is extremely serious and can negatively impact your life for years to come.
When your DWI results in a serious bodily injury the penalties are greatly enhanced. For example, you face the following:
A) Conviction for a Class B Felony (punishable by up to 7 years in prison)
B) You shall be fined not less than $1,000;
C) You shall be sentenced to 35 days in jail of which 21 says shall be suspended. The Court will refer you to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program or "IDCMP" for a full substance use disorder evaluation.
D) You shall complete the substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release and comply with the service plan developed.
E) The Court shall order an interlock device;
F) Your license will be revoked for not less than 18 months and, at the court's discretion, for a period not to exceed 2 years. The Court may suspend 6 months of this sentence provided that you schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release and complete the substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release.
When facing any DWI offense, especially an Aggravated DWI offense, you are looking at a criminal conviction on your record, serving time in jail, paying substantial fines to the court, paying for costly rehabilitation programming and suffering a substantial loss of license.
The Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne
351 Main Street Nashua, NH 03060