New Hampshire DWI Lawyer
DWI charges are taken seriously in New Hampshire. As such, it is important to combat any charges you are facing with the help of a New Hampshire DWI lawyer as soon as possible. With police giving more attention than ever to distracted drivers, DWI arrests have become a big concern. In the state of New Hampshire, the law says that drivers have consented to take a chemical test every time they operate a vehicle.
In addition, drivers may be convicted of driving under the influence even if their ability is not impaired—the key issue is blood alcohol concentration or BAC. Refusal to take a test to determine BAC has grave consequences. The consequences of a conviction are even worse.
A DWI arrest in New Hampshire is a serious matter and requires prompt and intelligent attention. An experienced New Hampshire defense lawyer will know the correct steps to take to ensure the best possible outcome, so establishing a relationship with a knowledgeable attorney should be the first step for someone facing charges.
Elements of a DWI Offense
New Hampshire statutes prohibit any driver from operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or controlled substance or combination thereof that impairs the ability to drive or when the driver’s BAC has reached a certain level. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §265-A:2). If a police officer suspects impaired driving, the driver will be expected to undergo a series of tests such as:
- Physical coordination and balance exercises
- Breath analysis
- Urine test
- Blood test
If the tests reveal a BAC that is over the limit, then the driver is in violation of the statute. But even if the chemical tests do not show a BAC over the legal limit, the officer can still find the driver legally impaired depending on the pattern of driving and other observations.
The legal BAC limits are:
- .02 for drivers under the age of 21
- .04 for drivers of commercial vehicles
- .08 for other drivers
Since drivers are considered to have consented to undergo testing, a refusal to undergo testing is also a violation of the law and warrants the attention of a New Hampshire DWI lawyer.
The penalties imposed for violation of New Hampshire DWI laws vary depending on the circumstances and the driver’s prior record. A first-time conviction carries a penalty of a fine of at least $500, revocation of driving privileges for at least nine months, completion of a driver’s education program and mandatory testing for substance abuse disorder and treatment thereof.
The penalties increase if the driver is found guilty of an “aggravated DWI offense,” making it even more important that a New Hampshire DWI attorney is contacted. Circumstances that can aggravate a DWI include:
- Driving more than 30 miles an hour over the speed limit
- Causing a collision that results in serious injury
- Attempting to elude police by speeding or other methods
- Driving while a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle
- Driving with a BAC of .16 or more
Aggravated DWI penalties include mandatory jail time, higher fines, longer license revocation, and further testing. Subsequent convictions within a 10-year period also increase the penalties and result in mandatory jail time.
How a New Hampshire DWI Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing a charge, contact a New Hampshire DWI lawyer as soon as possible. The statutes do give the courts some leeway regarding suspending license revocations if certain conditions are met, so it is crucial to meet with an attorney as quickly as possible to take the steps toward reducing any applicable penalties.
A New Hampshire attorney familiar with DWI laws will know the best defensive strategy to employ and when a lesser offense may apply. Time is of the essence.