In the state of New Hampshire, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or above while driving is sufficient to result in DUI charges. The minimum BAC for an underage drinker is just .02 percent and, for a commercial driver, .04 percent. In New Hampshire, you might be able to plea down to the lesser charge of reckless driving, or “wet reckless.”
Implied Consent Law
New Hampshire DUI laws include an implied consent law that requires all drivers to take a breath or blood test if requested to do so by an officer who has probable cause. If you refuse the test, you will be subject to the automatic suspension of your license. For a first refusal, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 180 days. This increases to two years for subsequent offenses or refusals.
Penalties for DUI in New Hampshire
Unless there are aggravating factors, there is no minimum jail time mandated for a first DUI offense, and the minimum fine is $500, according to New Hampshire DUI laws. In the event of aggravating factors, the minimum is 10 days in jail and a $750 fine. Your driver’s license will be suspended for a period ranging from nine months to two years, and you will have to take a driver’s education program. You may also have to complete a treatment program.
For a second DUI conviction, your sentence will depend on how close it was to the first conviction. If it is more than 10 years later — the “lookback” period — your second conviction will be treated as a first offense for sentencing purposes. If it is within two years of your first conviction, however, you will be subject to a minimum of 30 days in jail. If your last offense was less than 10 years ago but more than two years ago, the minimum jail time is 10 days. In either case, your driver’s license will be suspended for three years, and you will be fined a minimum of $750. You may also have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle or take part in a treatment plan.
In New Hampshire, you can be charged with a class B felony if you cause an accident that results in serious injury while driving intoxicated. Your jail time can stretch up to seven years and your fine can reach $4,000. New Hampshire will also insist that you complete an IDIP, or Impaired Driver Intervention Program, for which you will have to pay. Additionally, you will have to install and pay monthly for an ignition interlock device that will prevent you from starting up your car unless and until you pass a Breathalyzer.
Changes in New Hampshire DUI Laws
In addition to the existing New Hampshire DUI laws, in January of 2013, it became illegal to drive impaired while under the influence of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. This tightened the previous law, which focused only on alcohol and controlled substances.