Even a first “regular” DUI charge in New Hampshire can have serious consequences, like fines of hundreds of dollars. But if the charge is “aggravated” DUI, the penalties can easily become life-changing.

Here are the actions to avoid if you don’t want an aggravated DUI charge, and punishments you may face without a good defense.

What qualifies a DUI as “aggravated”?

The regular blood alcohol limit for most types of New Hampshire drivers is 0.08%. If you’re already driving above the legal limit (and so, DUI), any one of these additional factors can qualify you for an aggravated DUI.

  • A blood alcohol twice the limit, or 0.16%, or higher.
  • Speeding at 30 mph above the posted speed limit or, for example, 75 mph in a 45-mph zone.
  • Trying to get away from the police by accelerating, turning off your headlights, or bailing on your vehicle.
  • A passenger who is 15 years old or younger.
  • Causing an accident resulting in serious injuries to somebody else.

If these qualify you, you can face Class A misdemeanor charges.

If the other factors qualify you, plus there’s also serious injury to another person, you can face Class B felony charges.

Possible penalties an attorney may help reduce or avoid

The penalties at stake for an aggravated DUI include:

  • $750 to $2,000 fine for the Class A misdemeanor.
  • $1,000 to $4,000 fine for the Class B felony.
  • 5 days to one year in jail for the Class A misdemeanor.
  • 14 days to 7 years in jail for the Class B felony.
  • Suspended driver’s license for 18 to 24 months. (Could be reduced to 12 months with the Impaired Driver Care Management Program, or IDCMP).

Again, all DUI charges can have a bigger impact on people’s lives than many people expect. The expense, jail time, loss of your ability to drive, and job loss or missed opportunities of all kinds can take over a person’s life unexpectedly and gradually, even if they thought a DUI was not a huge problem.

A good attorney will know that nothing is inevitable, and much more can be negotiated or cast in doubt than most people think.