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New Hampshire DWI Penalties

NH DUI GUYServing all of N.H. Offices Nashua, Manchester, Concord, Portsmouth Call 24/7:  (603) 821-0319

New Hampshire DWI Penalties

New Hampshire DWI Penalties

New Hampshire has serious penalties for all DWI convictions. If you are found guilty, you will be subjected to mandatory fines, mandatory license loss, have a criminal record, and be subject to mandatory jail time for a subsequent offense or for aggravated DWI. Some of the penalties increased January 1, 2013.

 

Standard First Offense DWI

Class B Misdemeanor

Fine: at least $620.

Loss of License 9 months, up to 2 years. (In certain circumstances the Court can reduce six months of the license loss if you enroll in an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of conviction, and, if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, to submit further to a full substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction). Minimum 1 year license loss if you are under 21 at the time of offense.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of conviction.

 

 

Aggravated DWI (all offenses except serious bodily injury)

Class A Misdemeanor.

Fine: at least $930.

Loss of License 18 months, up to 2 years. (In certain circumstances the Court can reduce six months of the license loss if you enroll in an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of conviction, and, if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, to submit further to a full substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction).

Mandatory Jail time 5 days, up to 1 year in jail. An additional 12 days of jail is suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of conviction.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

 

If Aggravated DWI is for causing serious bodily injury then it is a felony which includes mandatory 14 days in jail up to 3 and half years - 7 years in prison. Fine $1000-$4000. Plus other conditions of aggravated DWI.

Interlock Device required for 1-2 years upon license reinstatement.

 

Second Offense DWI (When first offense was within 10 years of date of second offense)

Class A Misdemeanor

Fine: at least $930.

Mandatory Jail time 5 days, up to 1 year in jail. An additional 12 days of jail is suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Loss of License 3+ years.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of license restoration.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

 

Second offense with First Offense within 2 Years of Date of Conviction for First Offense

Class A Misdemeanor

Fine: At least $930.

Mandatory Jail time 30 days, up to 1 year in jail. An additional 30 days of jail is suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of license restoration.

Interlock Device required for 1-2 years upon license reinstatement.

20 Hour Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP). The cost is around $700. It must be completed before your license is returned.

 

Third Offense DWI

Class A Misdemeanor

Fine: at least $930.

Loss of License Indefinite – May be reinstated after 5 years for good cause.

Mandatory Jail time of not less than 180 consecutive days of which 150 days may suspended upon enrolling in the alcohol program within 30 days of release from jail.

Major violation toward Habitual Offender law.

SR-22 insurance for three years from date of license restoration.

Interlock Device required for 1-2 years upon license reinstatement.

 

Fourth Offense or More DWI

Same Penalties as Third offense, except it is a Felony (which carries up to 7 years in prison), and you may only petition for a return of license after 7 years.

 

SR-22 Insurance

If you are found guilty of DWI you will be required to obtain SR-22 insurance prior to getting your license back. You will need this special insurance for 3 years from the date of conviction for a first offense[1], or 3 years from the date of restoration eligibility for a subsequent offense[2].

 

Probationary Status

You will be on probationary status for 3 years[3]. While on probation, you cannot drive with a BAC at or above .03[4], or you will be subject to a license suspension[5].

 

Alcohol Treatment Program

If found guilty of any type of DWI, you must do an Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDCMP). The process entails first seeing an alcohol counselor. That person will determine if you are at high risk to re-offend. If you are found at high risk, you will be subject to additional counseling. If no additional counseling is recommended, you must complete a 20 hour alcohol program. All of these things must be done prior to getting your license back. You have to pay the costs of the programs.

 

Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device

An interlock device is a machine the driver has to blow into in order to start the car, and occasionally while driving. If you are found guilty of aggravated DWI, or subsequent offense DWI, or operating after suspension of DWI, an interlock device is required for 1-2 years once the license is returned[6]. An interlock is optional in other circumstances, such as a driver under 21.

 

 

Major Offense toward Habitual Offender

DWI is a Major violation toward the Habitual Offender Law[7]. If you are certified as a Habitual Offender, you will lose your license for 1-4 years.

 

Operating after Suspension

If you drive while your license is suspended for DWI you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, you will be sent to jail for a minimum of 7 days, have an additional year license loss, and be required to have an interlock device installed in your car once you are eligible to obtain your license again.

 

Collateral Offenses

Besides the often mandatory penalties that are included with DWI convictions, there are often other collateral or potential consequences.

 

Out of State drivers

If you have a driver’s license from another State, New Hampshire will suspend your privilege to drive in New Hampshire. New Hampshire participates in a Driver License Compact[8]. As part of this compact, New Hampshire will forward a conviction of a DWI to the Home State. Once your home State learns of the conviction, they will usually reciprocate, and suspend your driver’s license for the period of suspension that would occur had the DWI taken place in the Home State. Your home State will often include other conditions as they would have occurred as if the DWI happened in that State. It is important to consult with a lawyer who is licensed in the State where your license was issued to fully understand the potential consequences of being found guilty of DWI.

 

Drivers Under 21

If you are under 21 and convicted of DWI, besides the license loss of at least one year, you shall not be eligible for reissuance of a license prior to the age of 21 unless you satisfy the director after an administrative hearing that you will drive in a safe manner if the license is issued. The director may place such restrictions on any license so issued as the director deems in the best interest of public safety[9].

 

Travel to Foreign Countries

If you are convicted of DWI you will have a criminal record. Some countries will not permit the driver to enter the country.

If you want to travel to Canada, the general rule for Canada, is that an “indictable offense”, as defined by the Canadian Code, can prohibit entry as an excludable offense[10]. DWI is an indictable offense[11].

So, typically, you will not be able to travel to Canada unless you are “rehabilitated”. In some cases even an arrest without conviction may prohibit your entry. You may want to talk with a Canadian Consulate to determine your eligibility.

 

Immigration Consequences

If the DWI charge is a Felony, or punishable by one year in jail, there can be immigration consequences that include being deported. This category would include all aggravated DWIs and subsequent DWIs, but exclude all standard first offense DWIs.

However, if you are seeking to become a citizen, a criminal record can have negative consequences. It is best to speak with a lawyer who deals with immigration issues to determine any possible consequences of a DWI on your record.

 

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

If you have a CDL, you will lose your CDL for at least one year upon a DWI conviction, or an ALS suspension regarding the implied consent statute[12]. The BAC limit in New Hampshire for a CDL is .04[13].

If you were transporting hazardous materials at the time, the license loss will be at least 3 years[14]. For a second offense, there will be a lifetime loss of CDL, but you may apply for reinstatement after 10 years[15].

It does not matter if you were in a vehicle requiring a CDL at the time of driving, only that you had a CDL.

 

Loss of Boating Privileges

If you are convicted of DWI, you will lose the privilege to operate a motorboat for a period of one year from the date of conviction[16].

 

Possible Pilot License Consequences          

Anyone who holds a pilot’s license must notify the FAA of an ALS suspension or DWI conviction within 60 days[17]. Failure to report can result in an investigation and certificate action.

 

Demerit Points Suspension

A DWI conviction counts as 6 points on a license. A certain number of points within a certain time can result in license suspension.



[1] Saf-C 207.12(a)

[2] Saf-C 207.12(c)

[3] Saf-C 204.03(d)

[4] Saf-C 204.03(f)

[5] Saf-C 204.03(g)

[6] N.H. RSA 265-A:36

[7] N.H. RSA 259:39(I)(k) & N.H. RSA 259:39(I)l)

[8] N.H. RSA 263:77 See also Saf-C 204.07

[9] N.H. RSA 263:14(V)

[10] Please note I am not licensed to practice law in Canada, and therefore any advice related to Canada is not legal advice, and should not be relied on, and should be confirmed for any accuracy or inaccuracies.

[12] N.H. RSA 264:94

[13] N.H. RSA 265-A:23

[14] N.H. RSA 264:94(II)

[15] N.H. RSA 264:94(III)

[16] N.H. RSA 265-A:20

[17] 14 C.F.R. 61.15

 

265-A:18 Penalties for Intoxication or Under Influence of Drugs Offenses. –
    I. Except as otherwise provided in this section:
       (a) Any person who is convicted of any offense under RSA 265-A:2, I shall be:
          (1) Guilty of a class B misdemeanor;
          (2) Fined not less than $500;
          (3) Referred by the court to an IDCMP and, if a first-time offender, required to submit to an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of conviction, and, if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, to submit further to a full substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction, to be administered by a service provider indicated by the IDCMP, and thereafter to follow the service plan developed from that substance use disorder evaluation by the IDCMP;
          (4) Required to complete a department of health and human services approved impaired driver education program prior to the restoration of the person's driver's license or privilege to drive; provided however, that if the person has previously completed such a program within the past 5 years and provides required proof, that shall serve as fulfillment of this requirement;
          (5) Required to pay all fees arising from services provided by the IDCMP and its referrals for the service plan; and
          (6) Subject to the following:
             (A) The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked for not less than 9 months and, at the discretion of the court, such revocation may be extended for a period not to exceed 2 years. The court may suspend up to 6 months of this sentence, provided that the person has been screened within 14 days and, if required, has completed the substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days with a service provider indicated by an IDCMP and is in compliance with the service plan produced thereafter, and has completed a department of health and human services approved impaired driver education program. The court may, in its discretion, require the installation of an interlock device in accordance with RSA 265-A:36 during the period of sentence reduction, and may reimpose the longer suspension period if the defendant becomes noncompliant with the treatment recommendations at any time during the suspension period;
             (B) The sentencing court may require the person to submit to random urinalysis or such other tests as the court may deem appropriate; and
             (C) The court in which the person was convicted may reduce the conviction to a violation upon a motion filed by either party at least one year after the date of the conviction. In deciding whether to reduce the conviction to a violation, the court may consider the person's subsequent driving record, the recommendation of the IDCMP, the hardship that having a criminal record may cause for the person, and any other factors that the court deems relevant.
       (b) Any person who is convicted of any aggravated DWI offense under RSA 265-A:3, except as provided in subparagraph (c), shall be:
          (1) Guilty of a class A misdemeanor;
          (2) Fined not less than $750;
          (3) Sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 17 consecutive days in the county correctional facility, of which 12 days shall be suspended. The court shall refer the person to an IDCMP to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. A condition of the suspension shall be that upon release from serving the 5 days in the county correctional facility, the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, and comply with the service plan developed. The IDCMP shall administer the substance use disorder evaluation and shall develop the service plan from that substance use disorder evaluation. Any portion of the suspended sentence to the county correctional facility may be imposed if the defendant does not comply with all of the requirements of this subparagraph or becomes noncompliant with the service plan during the suspension period;
          (4) Ordered to install an interlock device in accordance with RSA 265-A:36; and
          (5) Subject to the following:
             (A) The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked for not less than 18 months and, at the discretion of the court, such revocation may be extended for a period not to exceed 2 years. Upon confirmation from the IDCMP that the person is in full compliance with the service plan, the court may suspend up to 6 months of this sentence, with the condition that an interlock device be installed for the period of the suspended sentence in addition to any period required in accordance with RSA 265-A:36 and provided that all fees have been paid; and
             (B) The sentencing court may require the person to submit to random urinalysis or such other tests as the court may deem appropriate.
       (c) Any person who is convicted of aggravated DWI under RSA 265-A:3, I(b) or II(b), shall be:
          (1) Guilty of a class B felony;
          (2) Fined not less than $1,000;
          (3) Sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 35 consecutive days in the county correctional facility, of which 21 shall be suspended. The court shall refer the person to an IDCMP to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. A condition of the suspension shall be that upon release from serving the 14 days in the county correctional facility, the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, and comply with the service plan developed. The IDCMP shall administer the substance use disorder evaluation and shall develop the service plan from that substance use disorder evaluation. Any portion of the suspended sentence to the county correctional facility may be imposed if the defendant does not comply with all of the requirements of this subparagraph or becomes noncompliant with the service plan during the suspension period;
          (4) Ordered to install an interlock device in accordance with RSA 265-A:36; and
          (5) Subject to the following:
             (A) The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked for not less than 18 months and, at the discretion of the court, such revocation may be extended for a period not to exceed 2 years. The court may suspend up to 6 months of this sentence, provided that the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, or upon release from the county correctional facility, whichever occurs later, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release with a service provider indicated by an IDCMP, and the service plan produced thereafter, with the condition that an interlock device be installed for the period of the suspended sentence in addition to any period required in accordance with RSA 265-A:36 and provided that all fees have been paid; and
             (B) The sentencing court may require the person to submit to random urinalysis or such other tests as the court may deem appropriate.
    II. Any person convicted of a violation of RSA 265-A:19, II shall be subject to the penalties set out in this section for a violation of RSA 265-A:3. Any person convicted of a violation of any other provision in RSA 265-A:19 or a violation of RSA 265-A:2, II shall be subject to the penalties set out in this section for a violation of RSA 265-A:2, I.
    III. Any person who is convicted of an offense under RSA 265-A:2, I or RSA 630:3, II, and whose offense occurred while the person was under the age of 21, shall be sentenced according to the provisions of this section, except that in all cases the person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked for not less than one year. The person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation with a service provider indicated by an IDCMP within 30 days of conviction, or upon release from the correctional facility, whichever occurs later, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, comply with the service plan developed by the IDCMP, and complete an approved impaired driver education program if not previously completed within the past 5 years.
    IV. Upon conviction of any offense under RSA 265-A:2, I or RSA 265-A:3, based on a complaint which alleged that the person has had one or more prior convictions under RSA 265-A:2, I or RSA 265-A:3, or RSA 630:3, II, or under reasonably equivalent offenses in an out-of-state jurisdiction, within 10 years preceding the date of the second or subsequent offense, the person shall be subject to the following penalties in addition to those provided in paragraph I:
       (a) For a second offense:
          (1) The person shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor;
          (2) The person shall be fined not less than $750;
          (3)(A) If the complaint alleges that the prior conviction occurred within 2 years preceding the date of the second offense, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 60 consecutive days in the county correctional facility, of which 30 days shall be suspended. The court shall refer the person to an IDCMP to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. A condition of the suspension shall be that upon release from serving the 30 days in the county correctional facility, the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, and comply with the service plan developed. The IDCMP shall administer the substance use disorder evaluation and shall develop the service plan from that substance use disorder evaluation. Any portion of the suspended sentence to the county correctional facility may be imposed if the defendant does not comply with all of the requirements of this subparagraph or becomes noncompliant with the service plan during the suspension period;
             (B) If the complaint alleges that the prior conviction occurred more than 2 but not more than 10 years preceding the date of the second offense, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 17 consecutive days in the county correctional facility, of which 12 days shall be suspended. The court shall refer the person to an IDCMP to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. A condition of the suspension shall be that upon release from serving the 5 days in the county correctional facility, the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, and comply with the service plan developed. The IDCMP shall administer the substance use disorder evaluation and shall develop the service plan from that substance use disorder evaluation. Any portion of the suspended sentence to the county correctional facility may be imposed if the defendant does not comply with all of the requirements of this subparagraph or becomes noncompliant with the service plan during the suspension period; and
          (4) The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked for not less than 3 years. The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall not be restored by the department until the person shall have completed the service plan developed by the IDCMP, and paid all relevant fees.
       (b) For a third offense, any person convicted under this paragraph shall be subject to all the penalties of subparagraph (a) except that:
          (1) The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked indefinitely and shall not be restored for at least 5 years. At the end of the 5-year minimum revocation period the person may petition the court for eligibility to reapply for a driver's license and the court, for good cause shown, may grant such eligibility subject to such terms and conditions as the court may prescribe. Any untimely petition under this subparagraph shall be dismissed without a hearing. If such petition is granted and the person is otherwise eligible for license restoration, the person may then apply to the director for restoration of driver's license, but the license shall not be restored until all requirements under law are met. The person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall not be restored by the department until the person shall have completed the service plan developed by the IDCMP, and paid all relevant fees.
          (2) The person shall be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of not less than 180 consecutive days of which 150 shall be suspended. The court shall refer the person to an IDCMP to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. A condition of the suspension shall be that upon release from serving the 30 days in the county correctional facility, the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, and comply with the service plan developed. The IDCMP shall administer the substance use disorder evaluation and shall develop the service plan from that substance use disorder evaluation. Any portion of the suspended sentence to the county correctional facility may be imposed if the defendant does not comply with all of the requirements of this subparagraph or becomes noncompliant with the service plan during the suspension period. The remainder of the sentence may be deferred for a period of up to 2 years. The court may, at the satisfactory completion of any required treatment, suspend any remaining deferred sentence.
       (c) For a fourth or subsequent offense, any person convicted under this paragraph shall be subject to all the penalties of subparagraphs (a) and (b) except that the person shall be guilty of a felony, and the person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked indefinitely and the person shall not petition for eligibility to reapply for a driver's license as provided in subparagraph (b)(1) for at least 7 years.
       (d) For a third or subsequent offense when any prior offense under this paragraph is negligent homicide under RSA 630:3, II, or reasonably equivalent offense in an out-of-state jurisdiction, the person convicted under this paragraph shall be subject to all the penalties of subparagraphs (a) and (b) except that the person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked indefinitely and the person shall not petition for eligibility to reapply for a driver's license as provided in subparagraph (b)(1) for at least 10 years.
    V. If any person is convicted of a violation of RSA 265-A:2, I or RSA 265-A:3, and the conviction is not based upon a complaint which alleges prior convictions as provided in paragraph IV, but the person is found to have had one or more such prior convictions in this state or in an out-of-state jurisdiction within 10 years preceding the date of the offense, the person's driver's license or privilege to drive shall be revoked for not less than one year nor more than 3 years. The court shall refer the person to an IDCMP to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. The person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of release, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release, and comply with the service plan developed. The IDCMP shall administer the substance use disorder evaluation and shall develop the service plan from that substance use disorder evaluation. The court may suspend up to 6 months of this sentence, conditional on completion of the required evaluation within 30 days of the court's finding, completion of the service plan developed by the IDCMP, and payment of all relevant fees.
    VI. For the purposes of this section:
       (a) "Revocation'' or "revoked'' means revocation as defined in RSA 259:90 and also includes, if the person is a nonresident, the revocation of the person's privilege as an out-of-state driver to drive on any ways of this state.
       (b) "Out-of-state jurisdiction'' includes any governmental entity that issues driver's licenses that are valid for operating a motor vehicle on the ways of this state as provided in RSA 263:37, and that has laws relating to driving while impaired that are reasonably equivalent to the laws of this state.
       (c) "IDCMP'' means an impaired driver care management program approved by the department of health and human services under RSA 265-A:40.
    VII. No portion of the minimum mandatory sentence of imprisonment and no portion of the mandatory sentence of the period of revocation and no portion of any fine imposed under this section shall be suspended or reduced by the court. No case brought to enforce this section shall be continued for sentencing for longer than 35 days. No person serving the minimum mandatory sentence under this section shall be discharged pursuant to authority granted under RSA 651:18, released pursuant to authority granted under RSA 651:19, or in any manner, except as provided in RSA 623:1, prevented from serving the full amount of such minimum mandatory sentence under any authority granted by RSA title LXII or any other provision of law.
    VIII. Any person convicted of a violation of RSA 265-A:2, RSA 265-A:3, or RSA 265-A:19, II, and who at the time of driving or attempting to drive a vehicle or off highway recreational vehicle or operating or attempting to operate a boat was transporting a person under the age of 16, shall have the driver's license or privilege to drive revoked for the maximum time period under the section violated and the person's license or privilege to drive shall not be restored until the offender has completed an IDCMP screening within 14 days of conviction, and if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, the person shall schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction or within 30 days of release from the correctional facility, whichever occurs later, complete the required substance use disorder evaluation within 60 days of release from the correctional facility, comply with the service plan developed from the substance abuse disorder evaluation by the IDCMP, and complete a department of health and human services approved impaired driver education program prior to the restoration of the person's driver's license or privilege to drive; provided however, that if the person has previously completed such a program within the past 5 years and provides required proof, that shall serve as fulfillment of this requirement.
    IX. Any conviction under RSA 265-A:2, I or RSA 265-A:3 shall be reported to the department of safety, division of motor vehicles, and shall become a part of the motor vehicle driving record of the person convicted.
    X. When any provision of this section requires a person to schedule, submit to, or complete an alcohol and drug abuse screening or substance use disorder evaluation within a specified number of days, or makes such a condition of eligibility for suspension of a period of license revocation or other sentence, a person may comply with the requirement within the time period specified or as soon thereafter as any extenuating circumstances approved by the department of health and human services allow.

Source. 2006, 260:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; 259:30, 31, eff. one day after passage of state operating budget for biennium ending June 30, 2009. 2007, 263:66, eff. June 29, 2007. 2008, 256:1-4, eff. Aug. 25, 2008. 2010, Sp. Sess., 1:13-18, eff. June 10, 2010. 2012, 228:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.

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