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New Hampshire DWI Drugs

DWI Drugs

There are three things the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order for you to be found guilty of DWI - Drugs.
The first is that you were driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle. You can be found guilty of this by having the engine running, or possibly even just having the keys inside the vehicle. If you were not driving/ the car was not in motion, a good DWI lawyer will be able to argue this fact to show you were not operating.

The second thing the prosecution must prove is that you were on a public way. This is generally a street or highway, but can also be anywhere the public has access to, such as a parking lot. If the spot is potentially private, an attorney may be able to argue to the judge and jury that you were not on a public way, thereby getting you found not guilty.

The final thing the state must prove is that your ability to operate the motor vehicle is impaired due to a drug or substance. Prior to January 1, 2013, they must have proven it was a controlled substance/drug.

The State must prove the drug, including prescription drugs, impaired your ability to drive. Many drugs, when taken as prescribed, do not impair someone's ability. However, the State's expert witness will likely determine it did. Besides hiring a lawyer who handles DWI drug cases, you will probably want your own expert witness to show the drug did not impair your ability.

It does not matter if you were lawfully prescribed the drug you took. The prosecutor can get a conviction for tylenol, every prescription medication, nicotine, water, caffeine etc. The issue is, did that drug impair your ability to drive.

The State will often have an expert (DRE Drug Recognition Expert) testify as to how he believed you were operating under the influence. The DRE has specific training and should follow protocols by NHTSA. The 12 step process they undertake should be:

DECP 12 Step Evaluation Process

1. Breath Alcohol Test

2. Interview of the Arresting Officer

3. Preliminary Examination

a. First pulse assessment (Normal 60-90 BPM: (30 seconds x 2)).

b. Initial angle of onset check (HGN)

c. Initial estimate of pupil size (room light)

4. Eye Examination

a. HGN: (LOSP, DNMD, 0NP45*)

b. VGN

c. Lack of convergence

5. Divided Attention Tests

a. Romberg Balance

b. Walk and Turn Test

c. One Leg Stand Test

d. Finger to Nose Test

6. Vital Signs

a. Second pulse assessment (Normal 60-90 BPM: (30

seconds x 2)).

b. Blood pressure assessment (Normal Systolic 120-

140 mmHg)

c. Body temp. assessment (Normal Body Temp: 98.6

+/- 1

7. Dark Room Examination

a. Pupil size assessment

i. Room light (Normal 2.5 to 5.0 mm)

ii. Near total darkness (Normal 5.0 to 8.5


iii. Direct light (Normal 2.0 to 4.5 mm)

b. Ingestion Assessment

i. Check nasal area

ii. Check oral cavity

8. Muscle Tone Assessment

a. Normal

b. Flacid

c. Rigid

9. Injection Site Assessment

a. Third pulse assessment (Normal 60-90 BPM:

(30 seconds x 2)).

10. Interrogation of Subject

11. Opinion of Evaluator

12. Toxicoloqy

a. Collect urine or blood sample for

toxicological analysis

Since the State will have an expert to help prove their case, you deserve an expert, a qualified DUI Attorney, to show you were not under the influence of drugs. Attorney Hynes has training and experience to know when the DRE did not do things correctly. This could be the difference between Guilty with a long loss of license and fines, and being found Not Guilty.


The penalties for DWI - Drugs is generally the same as DWI - Alcohol. However, depending on the drug, it may be worse as the DMV has authority to revoke indefinitely your driver license if they can show a medical condition or other condition that makes you an unsafe drive. Attorney Hynes has experience representing clients at these hearings, and can help you as well.

Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship and the information on this site is not legal advice and may be inaccurate or not applicable to your case. Each case is different.

Mailing Address: Dan Hynes PO BOX 598 Merrimack, NH 03054