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Don’t discount New Hampshire’s penalties for drunk driving

On behalf of Starbranch Law posted in blog on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Drunk driving is a serious criminal act that many people tend to discount because they don’t see the big deal about having a few drinks and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Some individuals might even think that they can handle their alcohol in a manner that allows them to drive.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter who well you think you can drive if your blood alcohol concentration is higher than the legal limit. Even if you consider yourself a “functional drunk person,” you can still face criminal charges. Here’s what you need to know about drinking and driving in New Hampshire:

The legal limits

There are three different limits for blood alcohol concentration in this state. One is the per se limit, which is the one that applies to all drivers who are 21 years old or older. This limit is .08 percent. The limit for an aggravated charge is .16 percent, which means you face enhanced charges if your BAC is at or above that limit.

Drivers who are under 21 also have a legal limit for BAC. This is only .02, which is much lower than the normal limit. This is considered a zero tolerance limit and complies with federal guidelines.

Possible penalties

You face a host of penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving. People who are convicted have to go through the Impaired Driver Care Management Program to determine which program components they must complete. The evaluation at the start of the program determines the path. The treatment can be long-term, but there are also shorter programs for people who meet some requirements.

On top of the IDCMP, you will face other penalties. At a minimum, you face a nine to 18 month driver’s license suspension for a first offense. You also face fines and the possibilities of having to use an ignition interlock device if you have a repeat offense or an aggravated case.

When you are facing a drunk driving charge in New Hampshire, you need to prepare your defense. This must be a personalized strategy that takes the components in your case into account. There are many different strategies that you might employ but determining which ones are appropriate must be considered carefully with your goals in mind.

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Harry N. Starbranch
Harry Starbranch
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  • Portsmouth Office
    Nathaniel Walker House
    171 Middle Street
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801
    Phone: 603-436-5566
    Fax: 603-373-8421