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Understanding Drunk Driving Penalties

While the exact penalties will vary depending on whether you were arrested in New Hampshire or Massachusetts and whether you have been convicted for drunk driving previously or the offense is categorized as aggravated, here are some of the examples of what you might face:

Driver’s License Suspension

You will face driver’s license suspension as an administrative penalty regardless of whether you are convicted of drunk driving. This may happen automatically, unless you request an administrative hearing. If you are convicted, you will face an additional driver’s license suspension. You may be eligible for a hardship license in some situations, and when the suspension has elapsed you will have to pay to have your license reinstated.


Fines for DWI/DUI/OUI start at $500 and can add up to many thousands of dollars for repeat or aggravated offenders. This is not a cheap ticket.

Jail Time

Yes, you can be incarcerated for drunk driving. While it is rare for first-time offenders, it is a possibility. Repeat and aggravated offenders run the risk of years behind bars.

Counseling And Classes

There may be alcohol assessments, counseling requirements and classes that need to be taken as part of your punishment if you are convicted. This is all time-consuming. Also keep in mind that you will have to pay for all of this, and it is expensive.

Ignition Interlock Device

If and when you are allowed to drive again, you may have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. You will have to pay for this as well.

Increased Car Insurance Rates

This technically is not a penalty for drunk driving, but it is something that is worth thinking about. If you are convicted of DWI/DUI/OWI, your insurance rates will likely skyrocket. In the years to come, this may actually add up to more than the fines.

These Penalties Are Best Avoided

Do not assume that the drunk driving charges cannot be fought. Do not assume that the evidence against you is flawless. Do not assume that you have to just accept these penalties. You can fight them with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

At Howie Law Office, PLLC, our attorneys are experienced fighting DWI/DUI/OUI charges. We have a law office in Salem, New Hampshire, which you can reach at 603-893-8008. We also have offices in Andover and Woburn, Massachusetts, and you can reach either at 978-853-0982. You can also get in touch with any of our offices by email. The initial consultation is free.

Serving New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Since 1992