New Hampshire DUI 101
New Hampshire DUI laws are in place to keep drunk drivers off the road in the Granite State.
What Constitutes a New Hampshire DUI/DWI and What Are the Penalties?
The New Hampshire Department of Safety (DOS), Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and all state law enforcement agencies strictly enforce New Hampshire DUI/DWI laws.
When stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of driving while intoxicated or operating a vehicle under the influence, you will be asked to take one of four sobriety tests, which include the following:
- Blood test
- Urine test
- Balance tests
When applying for a New Hampshire driver’s license, you agree to take a sobriety test when requested by law enforcement. You may refuse to take a sobriety test, but you will lose your license for 180 days.
If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08 percent then you are over the legal limit for driving and will be arrested. If, however, your BAC is under .08 and you are observed driving too slowly or too fast, running over the curb, crisscrossing road lanes, passing improperly or generally handling the vehicle in a poor or jerking manner, you can still be arrested.
Commercial drivers face stiffer penalties. Drivers found to have a BAC of .02 will be temporarily taken off the road, and drivers with a BAC of .04 or more will have their license suspended.
A first-time DWI offense – which is considered a violation, not a misdemeanor – carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a license suspension anywhere from 90 days to two years, depending on the driver’s previous driving history and BAC at the time of their arrest. The court may also order an Impaired Driver Program.
A second-time DWI – which is considered a misdemeanor, not a violation – requires an Alcohol Education Class at a court-approved treatment center. Other penalties include these:
- Fines up to $1,000
- Cost of approved treatment program
- Auto insurance premium for required SR-22
- Reinstatement fees
- Attorney costs
A third-time DWI subjects the offender to a minimum jail sentence of 180 days and two-year license suspension for those refuse to take a sobriety test.
The number of points you already have on your license will determine the extent of your penalties and whether your license is suspended.
Can You Get a Restricted License?
New Hampshire does not offer a restricted license or any other transportation options for anyone with a suspended license. However, you can restore your license after paying all court-ordered fines, attending driver improvement training, and attending drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
In New Hampshire, there are four types of alcohol intervention/education programs. According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, these programs are the following:
- Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP) or Weekend Impaired Driver Intervention Programs (WIDIP)
- Phase II Programs for the Repeat First Offender
- The Multiple Offender Program (MOP) for Second or Subsequent Offenders
- 28 Day Residential Treatment Programs
IDIP courses are 22 hours and are offered at locations throughout New Hampshire.
Costs for New Hampshire DUI programs vary by program type, court-ordered treatment options, and whether your driver’s license was issued in New Hampshire or another state.