New Hampshire DWI Stops

New Hampshire officers look for just about anything in drivers before pulling them over for a possible DWI. They use the Motor Vehicle Code to stop people for things like a plate light out or one of the lights in the rear that any sober person may not notice.

Another favorite of officers who make large numbers of DWI arrests is an allegation that the driver was erratic and weaving within their lane. The police sometimes call this lane control issues. They stop the car to give the drivers warnings for it, to get them a criminal violation and they decide to smell things, trying to look for things in the car.

If you were arrested for drunk driving during a DUI stop, contact a New Hampshire DWI lawyer for assistance in building a defense.

Questions During the Stop

Depending on the time of day, between 11 PM and 2 AM, if the police see a driver make a quick red light stop or see the person cross a marked line a little bit it will generally result in a DWI stop in New Hampshire. The DWI stop will include questions about drinking that usually lead to a DWI arrest, regardless of the driver’s answers.

The police will ask questions such as:

  • Where are they coming from?
  • Where are they going?
  • Have they been drinking tonight?

If the driver engages in a conversation with police about where she is coming from and if she has been drinking is almost always a precursor to a DWI arrest.

Typical DWI Stop

During a typical drunk driving stop, New Hampshire police will ask to see a person’s license and registration. It is a good idea to obtain these pretty quickly and hand them to the cop when he approaches the window.  Any delay in how an individual produces their license, such as it getting stuck in their wallet, can be used as an indicator for drunkenness to the police.

Police in that situation often describes a person having trouble producing their license as having dexterity problems.  Even if the logical explanation could be that the driver might not get pulled over much and hasn’t been asked to produce their license in years.

If an individual cannot find their registration right away, the police may ask why the individual does not know where their registration is. It might be because they never get pulled over. An individual should have those two things handy and often ready to hand to the officer as soon as he gets to the window.

Once the officer receives those documents, they will generally tell the individual to wait in the car. They will go back into their car and run the license to make sure it is not suspended, no warrants outstanding for the driver and any passengers, and make sure the driver’s license is active. They will also, at that time, scout if there are any prior DWIs on the record. If the driver does have a prior DWI conviction on their record, it can cause things to escalate.

Implied Consent

Implied consent is the legal fiction that when a person gets a driver’s license, they have impliedly consented to a breath test or chemical test upon demand by the police. It is a legal fiction because when a person gets their license, whenever that was, nobody told them or that, “By the way, when the cops ask for a breath test at a DWI stop in New Hampshire, you should give one because you just consented to it by accepting this driver’s license.” But that is legally what it means. It is that an individual has implied consent by driving on a road to submitting to a test. So the police cannot make a person do the test but the results of the implied consent law are that if an individual refuses to do the test, then an administrative license suspension will happen to them.

That is specific to DWI cases and stops because that is the only time they ask a person to take a breath test, if they think there is alcohol impairment.