Roy Weddleton
  Concord, NH 03301

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DWI Is A Crime In New Hampshire

Effective January 1, 2005, a person accused of DWI, first offense, is now a criminal charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. If it is a second offense within the past 10 years, it is a Class A Misdemeanor with jail time.

DWI does not mean drunk.  It means "impairment to any degree".  That means you can be  convicted (although rare) with a blood alcohol of lesss than .08.

DWI has always been a serious matter but now it is crime at all levels. Here are some highlights of the new law:

  • A DWI first time offense is now a Class B Misdemeanor subject to:

    1. minimum fine of $500 and up to $1,200;
    2. license revocation for not less than 9 months and up to 2 years;

      (At the Court’s discretion that revocation may be reduced by 6 months providing the driver enters a relevant driver education program within 45 days of conviction.)

    3. possible additional alcohol/drug treatment;
    4. possible random urinalysis.

  • Although some judges often did require additional alcohol counseling like AA, it was not permitted by statute but that has now been changed and the judge may order additional counseling in addition to successful completion of an Impaired Driver Intervention Program.

Running along with the criminal charge is the Administrative Loss of License procedure with the Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles. If you have been arrested for DWI, refused a breathalyzer test or other field sobriety tests, or blew over a 0.08, you will lose your license or right to drive in New Hampshire 30 days from the date of the incident unless you appeal to DMV. If you appeal on the 28th day, a hearing will be scheduled but your license will be suspended on the 30th day until the hearing.

There are a number of options available to an attorney aside from a trial and not guilty verdict. However, it is in your best interests to call an attorney immediately. The sooner you do the more options that are available to you.

If you have questions or want additional information,
contact Attorney Weddleton at
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