Drivers in New Hampshire are subject to arrest if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. You can be convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), even if your driving was not visibly impaired. New Hampshire DWI penalties include a Zero Tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21, who could be subject to arrest with a BAC of .02 percent or higher. Commercial drivers can be removed from the road with a BAC of .02 percent and have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) suspended for one year with a BAC of .04 percent or higher.
You are required to submit to a chemical test in New Hampshire under the state’s implied consent laws. Refusing to submit to a test will result in the automatic suspension of your license for a minimum of 180 days and perhaps as much as two years.
New Hampshire DWI penalties can be harsh. You could face jail time, significant penalties and fines and a license suspension. You could also be required to complete a court-ordered alcohol education and treatment program at your own expense. Additional penalties for a DWI convictions, which will remain on your driving record for 10 years, include being required to file an SR-22 from your insurance carrier with the state for a specified period of time and having to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Penalties for 1st Offense
The first time you are convicted of DWI in New Hampshire, there is no minimum amount of time you must serve in jail. However, you will pay fines up to $1,000 and your license will be suspended for a period ranging from 90 days to one year. You may also be required to complete an approved alcohol assessment and treatment program. You may be able to arrange a plea bargain to reduce the charge to “wet reckless” or reckless driving, provided you meet the criteria. However, should you be convicted of a second DWI within 10 years, this first charge will be considered a DWI for sentencing purposes.
Penalties for 2nd Offense
You will be required to serve a jail sentence if you are convicted of a second DWI in New Hampshire. If the second conviction occurs within two years of the first, you must spend a minimum of 37 days in jail. If the second conviction comes within the 10 year limit, you must spend at least 10 days in jail. You will also face fines of up to $1,000, and your license will be suspended for up to three years. You will have to file an SR-22, complete a treatment program and install an ignition interlock device in order to reinstate your license.
Penalties for 3rd Offense
While a third DWI offense is still considered a misdemeanor in New Hampshire, the penalties are much stiffer. You will serve up to a year in jail, with 180 days required, and pay fines of up to $2,000. You must complete a longer treatment program, and you will face a five-year suspension of your license. You will be required to install an ignition interlock device and file an SR-22 in order to have your driving privileges reinstated.