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Installing an IID: First step to regaining a license after a DWI

On behalf of Starbranch Law on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

There are many unfortunate consequences for getting convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Hampshire. Those penalties vary, depending on the criminal history of the person involved. They can include jail time and serious fines.

One of the longest lasting consequences of a DWI, other than the criminal record, is the loss of your driver’s license. There is mandatory suspension of someone’s license after a DWI conviction in New Hampshire. When time comes to get your license reinstated, state laws often require that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a period of between one and two years.

You will only be allowed to drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device installed

Once you receive your license again, it will be a restricted license. You will only be legally permitted to drive a vehicle that has an ignition interlock device (IID) installed. You must have a device installed on any vehicle you intend to drive during the restricted license period.

If you are a minor convicted of a DWI or someone with a previous DWI conviction, you will need to install an IID. The same is true of anyone convicted of an aggravated DWI. The state also requires that anyone who gets caught driving again with a suspended license from a previous DWI must install an IID in their vehicle as well.

These devices can be embarrassing, as anyone who gets into your vehicle with you will know that you have a previous DWI conviction. However, they are better than continuing to live without your driver’s license. Understanding the requirements of the program can help you comply and ensure that you can receive your full license and driving privileges back as soon as possible.

Expect to pay fees for the privilege of driving again

Getting an IID installed in your vehicle is not free. You will have to pay for the installation of the device, as well as a monthly maintenance fee. This cost will be in addition to the fines and fees assessed by the state and the criminal courts.

When you get into your vehicle to drive, the device requires that you perform a breath test prior to starting the vehicle. You will also need to perform tests at random intervals while the vehicle is running. This helps to ensure that people do not game the system by having a friend or co-worker blow into the device prior to ignition.

If someone with a restricted license and an IID gets caught driving a vehicle without an IID installed, they could lose their license and face additional criminal consequences. If somebody with an IID installed tampers with or destroys part of their device, that could also lead to consequences.

Drivers attempting to regain their privileges after a conviction of a DWI in New Hampshire must comply with all the requirements of the IID program to receive their full license back.

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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