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Drunk driving in New Hampshire has serious consequences

New Hampshire is a state with strict laws against drunk drivers. These laws aren't on the books in an effort to target specific people. Instead, they are simply meant to discourage people from getting behind the wheel drunk because intoxicated drivers can kill people.

Whether you are a resident here or just passing through, the state's drunk driving laws apply to you. Here are some important points you need to remember about drunk driving in this state:

Strict limits apply

State law has a strict limit of .08 percent BAC for drivers. People who are under the legal age limit of 21 have a smaller limit than .08 percent, as do commercial drivers. On top of the limit for BAC, the state prohibits people from being intoxicated from a combination of drugs and alcohol.

During a traffic stop

Police officers can pull over your vehicle if they have reasonable suspicion to think you are impaired. Once you are pulled over, they can ask you to take a field sobriety test and a breath test. All of this can be used in an effort to determine if you are intoxicated. Testing might be done to provide the legal basis for a drunk driving charge.

After a charge is levied

You have the right to defend yourself against a drunk driving charge. The defense strategy you choose must be based on the facts of the case. Always focus on an individualized plan since this will address the necessary points in your case.

When a conviction occurs

A driver who is convicted of drunk driving will have to complete Impaired Driver Care Management Program. Without completing this, you face the possibility of having your driver's license suspended for the full time period that is allowed by law. As part of the IDCMP, you will be assessed to determine what type, if any, substance abuse program you need to go through. You must complete the requirements that the program assessment sets for you. This is all in addition to the probation, jail time and fines that you face as part of your sentence.

Impacts you might face

On top of the legal penalties that you face, you will have to deal with the social penalties of the conviction. These include increased car insurance premiums, a mark on your criminal record that may impact your ability to get a job or a place to live, the stigma of a drunk driving conviction and the difficulties that come with the loss of your driver's license.

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