New Hampshire is famously tough on drivers who drive while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs (DWI). New Hampshire’s DWI laws impose much harsher penalties for first-time offenses than most states. There are certain factors that, if proven in your DWI case, can make these penalties even more severe, meaning they can increase the fine, jail time and other penalties associated with a DWI conviction.
Police determine whether you have had more than the maximum legal amount of alcohol before driving by using a device to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is above 0.08, then the police can arrest you for driving while intoxicated.
If your BAC is even higher, and reaches or exceeds 0.16, then the prosecution can charge you with a more severe form of DWI called Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated.
However, driving with a BAC of 0.16 isn’t the only way of increasing a DWI charge to an Aggravated charge. You can also receive an Aggravated charge if you:
- Drive at over 30 miles per hour above the posted speed limit
- Have a passenger in the car who is under 16 years old
- Cause a crash that results in serious bodily injury
- Attempt to evade the police
An Aggravated DWI charge drastically increases the penalties upon conviction.
Penalties for Aggravated DWI
A successful conviction for Aggravated DWI increases the minimum fine the court can impose upon you from $500 to $1,000. You will also have to face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 35 days. The court can increase this fine or jail sentence at their discretion, according to the facts of your case.
You will also have to install an Ignition Interlock Device at your own expense. This is a machine that won’t let you start your car if your BAC is too high. You will also have to comply with a substance use disorder evaluation service plan.
It’s not easy facing the prospects of a potential DWI conviction. It can be helpful to know the types of things courts consider aggravating factors when preparing your defense with your attorney.