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New Hampshire DWI First Offense

In New Hampshire, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) first offense is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor; however, don’t let the “misdemeanor” classification fool you—you could still be sentenced to harsh penalties, which include expensive court fines, alcohol education classes, and even incarceration, if you are convicted. If you are currently facing a New Hampshire DWI first offense charge, you owe it to yourself to speak with a qualified defense lawyer to find out how you can avoid the penalties and stigma associated with a drunk-driving conviction.

To charge you with DWI, the officer must have proof that you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For a common-law charge, the office may use his or her own observations regarding your driving patterns, appearance, and performance on the field sobriety tests as proof that your driving was impaired. If you are charged with “per se” DWI, this means that you tested over the legal limit (.08% for adults over 21) on the breathalyzer test.

While you may not be ordered to serve mandatory jail time if you are convicted of a DWI first offense, the judge could order you to pay a fine of at least $500 (plus a 20% surcharge) and successfully complete an Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP). In addition, your license may be suspended for a period of nine months to two years and you could be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

An aggravated DWI first offense may result in more severe penalties. For example, if you were transporting a minor under the age of 16 while you were under the influence, your license could be revoked for two years and you may be ordered to participate in a seven-day residential Multiple Offender Program (MOP).

That’s not all—you could face other consequences as a result of your conviction. For example, your insurance premiums could be substantially raised once your insurer learns about your drunk-driving offense. In addition, you will also be saddled with a criminal record that could make applying for new jobs difficult.