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No tolerance for underage drinking and driving in New Hampshire

All drunk driving charges are troubling. However, for a driver who hasn't turned 21 years old yet, seeing those flashing lights behind them can be even more frightening. These underage drunk drivers are facing some very serious penalties that can affect their future.

It is imperative that anyone who is considering drinking before they turn 21 understand just how serious these charges are. Here are some points to consider if you are tempted to drink and drive but haven't turned 21 yet or if you have already been charged with underage drinking and driving.

What is the standardized field sobriety test that police use?

When you are pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving, there are several things that are going to happen. One likely event is that you will be asked to complete a standardized field sobriety test (SFST).

This test is done to determine if the person who was driving was likely too intoxicated to drive safely. The SFST is standardized to ensure consistent results.

4 points you might address in a DUI defense

Driving drunk is something that many people admit they know they shouldn't do. This doesn't stop some people from driving after they have had a few drinks.

If you are stopped and end up being placed under arrest for drunk driving, you need to think carefully about everything you say and do. Your defense strategy actually starts at the second that you are pulled over for drunk driving.

What happens if you refuse a roadside breath test?

Massachusetts state law is very clear: Drunk driving is a crime. In order to deter drunk driving, the state will not only engage in enforcement in situations where an individual is clearly impaired while driving, but will also occasionally engage in broader enforcement efforts, including roadblocks.

Regardless of why your vehicle was stopped, if an officer has reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence, you will likely be required to perform a breath test. Refusing a roadside sobriety test is also a crime in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and it won't necessarily prevent the law enforcement officers present from charging you with a DUI.

Your blood alcohol test might not have been accurate

Getting pulled over by the police was a surprise, but testing positive for having an over-the-limit blood alcohol level was even more of a surprise. You knew that you were lucid, clear and completely coherent while driving home that night, but your breathalyzer test and blood alcohol content test say something different.

Why did you fail your BAC test when you knew you were sober?

Are drunk driving checkpoints legal?

Drunk driving checkpoints are locations, often at intersections or other busy areas, where law enforcement monitors drivers to determine if they have been drinking. While there is much debate about the legality of checkpoints, in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, they are legal, and they happen frequently.

Checkpoints to monitor for intoxicated driving may be legal, but that does not mean that the actions of law enforcement are always legal. It is possible that you experienced a violation of your rights in the process of your arrest at a sobriety checkpoint, and as soon as possible, it is important to secure legal help in order to fight these charges.

Is there an ignition interlock device in your near future?

Have you ever been in a parking lot when suddenly a loud, continuous alarm began to sound from someone's vehicle? In rare circumstances, it might have been an unwelcome party trying break into a particular car. More times than not, however, a vehicle owner likely hit the wrong button on his or her key fob, thus resonating high, audible tones through the air. Some New Hampshire travelers even use this handy feature to locate their own cars when they forget where they parked.

With the development of new technology aimed to reduce the number of drivers acting under the influence of alcohol on the road, you might have heard another type of car alarm as well. In this state and many others, if you're convicted for drunk driving, and fulfill a required license suspension, you're required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle when your driving privileges are restored.

Was a breath test used to validate your arrest for DUI?

Like law enforcement agencies elsewhere in the country, New Hampshire police departments use portable breath testing machines to validate arrests when officers suspect a driver of being under the influence. What you might not know is that the results of those breath tests might not be admissible in court.

DUI defense for first-time offenders

Massachusetts and New Hampshire have some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country. If charged with a DUI in either of these states, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your rights and effectively confront these criminal charges. Even first-time offenders face steep penalties, but you do not have to face this serious legal situation alone.

First-time offenders could lose their right to drive, as well as other penalties that may have a long-reaching impact on various areas of life. Some of these consequences can include loss of driver's license, jail time, fines and more. Once a DUI, OUI or DWI is on your criminal record, penalties will become more severe with each subsequent conviction.

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