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DUI Penalties in New Hampshire

The penalties for a DUI conviction in New Hampshire, especially if the driver has had previous convictions of similar offenses, are extensive.  Fully understanding the consequences of a charge will often require the help of an experienced drunk driving attorney.

Non Aggravated DUI

Non aggravated DUIs include those that fall under RSA § 265-A:2.  When a driver is convicted of this offense and it is the individual’s first DUI related offense involving a motor vehicle or it has been at least ten (10) years since a previous offense, the violation with be a Class B misdemeanor.  The individual will be fined not less than $500.  The person’s driver’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked for not less than nine (9) months and revocation may be extended for a period not to exceed  two (2) years.  The driver will also be required to furnish proof of successful completion of an impaired driver intervention program prior to the restoration of the person’s driver’s license or privilege to drive, but if they have previously completed a similar course in any jurisdiction, proof that they completed the multiple DWI offender intervention program or an equivalent 7-day residential intervention program.  Finally, the court may sentence the driver to additional alcohol or drug treatment and/or counseling, and may require the driver to submit to random urinalysis or such other tests as the court may deem appropriate.

 Aggravated DUI and Sentence Enhancements

There are three situations in which New Hampshire allows for sentence enhancements for a first time DUI offender.  These types of violations are considered Aggravated DUIs.  The statute outlining when a DUI will be enhanced to an Aggravated DUI is RSA § 265-A:3.  There are two possible enhancements.

The following factors determine if a DUI will be considered aggravated.  If a driver operates while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both and one of the following factors is present OR if a driver operates while they have a BAC of 0.08% or more, or the driver is under the age of 21 and has a BAC of 0.02% or more and one of the following factors is present.

  1. The driver operates a vehicle more than 30 MPH over the speed limit
  2. Causes a collision that results in serious bodily injury to the individual or another (serious bodily injury is defined at RSA § 625:11(IV))
  3. The driver attempts to elude police by speeding up, turning off the vehicle’s (or boat’s) lights, or abandoning a vehicle, boat, or OHRV while being pursued.
  4. The driver carries a passenger under the age of 16

Also, if a driver, at any time and under any circumstances, operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.16% or more, the offense will be considered an aggravated DUI.  None of the above listed factors need to be present for the DUI to be aggravated under this part of the statute.

If a driver is convicted of an aggravated DUI, he or she will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  The driver will be fined no less than $750 dollars, but may be fined a greater amount.  The driver will also be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 10 consecutive days of which 3 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served in the county correctional facility and 7 consecutive days shall be served at the 7-day multiple DWI offender intervention program or equivalent DWI offender intervention program and must follow any treatment recommendations made by the program.  The person’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked for a period of eighteen (18) months and may be extended for a period not to exceed two (2) years.  The court also has the discretion to proscribed additional alcohol or drug treatment and the discretion to require random urinalysis or other appropriate testing.  Finally, if a driver leaves the DWI intervention program without appropriate circumstances, he or she will be required to serve fourteen (14) days in the county correctional facility.

The sentence will be further enhanced if: (1) a driver operates while under the influence of alcohol or controlled drugs or a combination of both and causes a collision that results in serious bodily injury to the individual or another, or; (2) if a driver operates while they have a BAC of 0.08% or more, or the driver is under the age of 21 and has a BAC of 0.02% or more and causes a collision that results in serious bodily injury to the individual or another.  These situations are listed above and are still considered Aggravated DUIs, but the enhancement in these two situations is greater and the penalties are as follows.  The driver will be guilty of a Class B felony and fined not less than $1,000.  The driver will also be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 21 consecutive days of which 14 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served in the county correctional facility and 7 consecutive days shall be served at the 7-day multiple DWI offender intervention program or equivalent DWI offender intervention program and must follow any treatment recommendations made by the program.  The person’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked for a period of not less than eighteen (18) months and may be extended for a period not to exceed two (2) years.

Repeat Offenders:

Second Offense

For a second offense the person shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, will be fined not less than $750, will have his license or privilege to drive revoked for at least 3 years, will be required to pay the costs of any DWI offender intervention program prior to license restoration, and may be required to attend additional alcohol or drug treatment and/or counseling and may be required to submit to random urinalysis or other appropriate tests.

If the prior conviction occurred within 2 years preceding the date of the second offense the driver will be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 37 consecutive days of which 30 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served in the county correctional facility and 7 consecutive days shall be served at the 7-day multiple DWI offender intervention program or equivalent DWI offender intervention program and must follow any treatment recommendations made by the program.  Failure to complete the program or follow the recommendations will result in the person being held in contempt of court and he will be punished to least 30 days in the county jail.

If the prior conviction occurred within 2 years but not more than 10 years preceding the date of the second offense the driver will be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 10 consecutive days of which 3 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served in the county correctional facility and 7 consecutive days shall be served at the 7-day multiple DWI offender intervention program or equivalent DWI offender intervention program and must follow any treatment recommendations made by the program.  Failure to complete the program or follow the recommendations will result in the person being held in contempt of court and he will be punished to least 30 days in the county jail.

Third Offense

After a third offense, the driver will be subject to the same punishments as for a second offense except:

(1)  The person’s driver’s license or privilege to drive shall be revoked indefinitely and shall not be restored for at least 5 years

(2) The driver will be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 180 consecutive days of which 30 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served in the county correctional facility and 28 consecutive days shall be served at a residential treatment program or an intensive course of substance abuse treatment.  The person convicted must pay the expense of the substance abuse course or treatment program.

Fourth Offense or More

If a driver is convicted of a fourth offense, the driver will be subject to the same punishments as a third offense except:

(1)    Rather than a misdemeanor, the driver will be guilty of a felony

(2)    The person’s driver’s license will be indefinitely suspended and he will not be able to petition for eligibility to reapply for at least 7 years.

Additional Info

The statute proscribing penalties for DUIs in New Hampshire has a few additional provisions that drivers should be aware of.  First, if any DUI offense is committed while carrying a passenger under the age of 16, the period that an individual’s license will be revoked must be the maximum period of time allowed for that specific offense.  Also, any individual convicted of a driving under the influence offense in New Hampshire will lose the privilege to operate a motorboat in the waters of New Hampshire for a period of one year.  Furthermore, no portion of a minimum mandatory sentence of imprisonment or minimum period of license or driving privilege revocation is allowed to be suspended or reduced by the court at any time.  Finally, if a driver has three or more DUI related offenses, one of which involved negligent homicide or a reasonably equivalent offense, whether in New Hampshire or another jurisdiction, the period the individual’s driver’s license or driving privilege must be suspended indefinitely and that individual will not be allowed to petition for eligibility to reapply for at least 10 years.


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