For a New Hampshire motorist convicted of a DWI, the ramifications can be severe. New Hampshire maintains a reputation for possessing some of the strictest DWI laws in the United States. Significant monetary fines, loss of one’s license, loss of employment, and mandatory jail sentences are just a few of the penalties a conviction can result in.
In April 2013, former prosecutor Peter Heed, confessed to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. On January 10, 2013, he was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. Because Heed, who resigned as acting attorney general in 2004, maintained close ties to the state judiciary, the arraignment for his charges had to be delayed until a neutral judge could be found to preside over Heed’s case.
Ultimately, Mr. Heed was convicted. His driving privileges were suspended for 90 days, and he was required to pay a $500 fine. According to state police, this is the standard sentence in the state of New Hampshire for first-time DWI offenders. Despite his former position, Mr. Heed did not receive any special treatment.
DWIs In the State of New Hampshire
In the state of New Hampshire, for motorists over the age of 21, the legal blood alcohol content is .08%. For motorists under the age of 21, the limit is lowered to .02%. For those who hold commercial CDL licenses, the limit is .04%. Because these BAC percentages are rather low, a casual night of drinking can still result in a DWI charge. Furthermore, certain prescription drugs and medical conditions can aggravate the effects of alcohol in a person. If your plans for the evening include drinking and traveling to other locations, your transportation plans should not involve you getting behind the wheel of a car.
If a motorist is stopped by law enforcement officials and determined to be under the influence of alcohol, the resulting legal penalties can be significant. In the state of New Hampshire, a first-time DWI conviction can result in a license suspension of up to nine months and monetary fines in the amount of $500 or more. For a second offense, the legal penalties stiffen considerably. A motorist’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 3 years. The minimum monetary fines increase to $750, and there will be a minimum jail sentence of at least 30 days. A third offense includes all of the penalties of the second offense, but the minimum amount of jail time is increased to 180 days. A fourth offense is considered a felony.
If there is one lesson to be learned from Mr. Heed’s brush with the law, it is that no one, regardless of their profession, education, gender, or age, is exempt from a DWI conviction if the circumstances warrant it. The stakes are high, so it is best to avoid drinking and driving all, but if you do find yourself charged with a New Hampshire DWI, then it is imperative for you to consult an experienced NH DWI attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.