It’s called DWI or driving while intoxicated/impaired in the state of New Hampshire, and for a Dracut, Ma. mother, she was nabbed in the Granite State twice for DWI in 24 hours.
According to police officials, the August 12 and 13 arrests developed first in the town of Exeter. Sharon Estevao, 36, was driving alone at the time when police first caught up with her on the evening of Aug. 12 around 6 p.m.
Exeter police Capt. Stephan Poulin stated that Estevao was believed to be under the influence of drugs. She was arrested and released to a “sober party” on $1,000 personal recognizance bond.
Estevao’s second DWI arrest on August 13 occurred once again in NH, this time in the town of Plaistow. According to police, the Massachusetts mother was driving with her 4-month-old daughter on Route 125 just before 9 p.m.
Plaistow police Capt. Brett Morgan says that his department had received a call about an erratic driver, so one of his officers began briefly following Estevao and also noted the alleged erratic operation of the vehicle. The officer then stopped her vehicle by the Stateline Plaza.
She was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child. The aggravated charge was included because Estevao had a child in the vehicle at the time, says Morgan.
When the passenger in the vehicle is under age 16, then the charges rise in seriousness automatically, according to Morgan.
Estevao was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail on the Plaistow charges. She was arraigned in Plaistow Circuit Court on Aug. 25.
When facing a DWI, the arrested party needs a sharp defense attorney, says DUIwise.com. These charges are more complicated than they might seem on the surface and vary from state-to-state.
Another example of this took place in the town of Hooksett involving a two-car accident and two arrests for DWI on August 26 around 3:30 a.m.
Both police from the Hookset and nearby Allenstown departments responded to a parking lot near Princeton Drive early Saturday morning where the crash had occurred. Someone had called police about a woman who was allegedly upset and yelling in the area.
When police arrived on the scene, they found the damaged vehicles and two female drivers. According to the police report, the women’s cars collided as both parties attempted to leave the Hooksett parking lot.
As the officers began to interview the women about the accident, it was apparent to them that both drivers were allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
Mary Dallaire, 23, of Manchester, took a breathalyzer test that revealed she had an alcohol content of .20, which is two and a half times the legal limit in NH. She was charged with aggravated DWI.
Leandra Chagnon, 23, of Hooksett, was also charged with DWI.
Both drivers face arraignment on the DWI charges in 6th Circuit Court in Hooksett on Sept. 1. Dallaire was released on $4,500 personal recognizance and Chagnon was released on $2,500 personal recognizance.
Legal experts always recommend that drivers never represent themselves in court, says DUIwise. DWI charges need sound legal representation because the decisions made are far more serious than any traffic violation.
In another DWI case, a Lebanon, Maine man faces charges in Manchester, NH in a two-vehicle accident. Henry Croteau, 68, will face a judge for arraignment on Sept. 11, according to the police report. Croteau’s Chevy pickup was turning on to Highland Street from Eastern Avenue when it struck a Toyota 4Runner and left the road, slamming into a group of small trees nearby.
The driver of the 4Runner was waiting for the red light to turn green and then proceed left on to Highland Street when the vehicle was hit by Croteau’s truck.
The driver of the 4Runner, Stacey Keraghan, 48, of Rochester, was not injured and neither was Croteau, say Manchester police.
Croteau was then charged with DWI and released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail.
In the Granite State, the DWI laws are strict. For example, under a first offense, there is no jail time, but the fines and penalties range from $500 to $1,200. One’s driver’s license is also suspended for a minimum of six months.
NH DWI aggravated charges occur when the arrested party is involved with any one of these circumstances:
A Blood Alcohol Level of .16 or Above
Passenger Under the Age of 16 in the Vehicle
Driving 30 MPH over the Speed Limit
Causing a Collision Resulting in Serious Injury
Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer
Under NH’s laws involving BAC or blood alcohol content levels, a driver under age 21 who blows a .02% will be arrested for DWI. For those who are 21 and older and score an .08%, they will be busted for DWI. For commercial operation of a vehicle, a .04% will also result in a DWI arrest.