Like all 50 states in the U.S., New Hampshire law prohibits people from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. These laws administer harsh punishments to offenders in the hopes of deterring this dangerous activity and save lives.

According to findings based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, New Hampshire ranked 14th in the U.S. for DUI-related arrests at 383.16 per 100,000 people, exceeding the national average. Drivers who understand the consequences of a DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge may think twice before getting behind the wheel.

Criminal punishments for a DWI

Those charged with a DWI in New Hampshire face several penalties, both administrative and criminal. These punishments scale up with each subsequent charge, including up to a year in prison. Drivers found with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher will face the following consequences:

  • First offense: Those convicted of their first DWI will face anywhere between $500 and $1,200 in fines and a license suspension between nine months and two years.
  • Second offense: For the second DWI, offenders may spend a minimum of 60 days in jail if their second offense occurred within two years of the first. Offenders must pay fines up to $2,000 and a three-year license suspension.
  • Third offense: Three-time offenders may spend between 180 days and one year in jail, owe between $750 and $2,000 in fines and a lifetime revocation of their driver’s license.

Judges may rule to commute part of a jail sentence with probation. Probation lasts two years and requires completion of a drug and alcohol evaluation and enrollment in the Impaired Driver Care Management Program (ICDMP). Probation periods can include random testing and substance abuse treatment.

Those dealing with a DUI can contact an attorney

A local attorney familiar with New Hampshire DWI laws can help an offender protect their rights in court. A lawyer will work with the judge on probation terms and draw up settlement paperwork.