New Hampshire, DWI Laws, & Speeding
Driving or operating a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered a serious crime in our state. Without a doubt, driving while intoxicated is dangerous. In a 2011 report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was discovered that 30% of all fatal traffic accidents nationwide involved alcohol in some form or fashion. Alcohol and drugs cause specific side effects that impair a motorist’s judgment, delay their reaction times, and affect their overall driving abilities. In a concentrated effort to discourage motorists from getting behind the wheel of their automobile after drinking, all 50 states have passed strict DWI laws, and New Hampshire’s DWI laws are among the harshest in the country.
In New Hampshire and other states, DWI charges become more severe when the motorist demonstrates additional factors which cause their offense to become even more reckless. The majority of these factors will constitute an aggravated DWI criminal charge. Several common factors that will frequently lead to an aggravated DWI charge include the following:
§ Driving intoxicated while a minor child is present in the vehicle
§ Operating a motor vehicle when the motorist has an excessive amount of alcohol in their system
§ Attempting to escape or evading arrest
How New Hampshire’s Speeding Laws Relate to Aggravated DWI Charges
Pursuant to New Hampshire state statute RSA 265-A:3, a motorist can be charged with an aggravated DWI whilst intoxicated if he or she “operates or drives at a speed that is higher than 30 miles per hour in excess of the prima facie limit”. Moreover, the prima facie limit is defined as a speed limit that motorists should not exceed when the presence of a posted speed limit is absent. Under statute RSA 265:60 II, New Hampshire’s unique prima facie limits are as follows:
§ Within a posted school zone, at a speed of 10 miles per hour below the usual posted limit from 45 minutes prior to each school opening until each school opening and from each school closing until 45 minutes after each school closing.
§ 30 miles per hour in any business or urban residence district as defined in RSA 259:118;
§ 35 miles per hour in any rural residence district as defined in RSA 259:93, and on any class V highway outside the compact part of any city or town as defined in RSA 229:5, IV;
§ 55 miles per hour in other locations, except as provided in (e);
§ 65 miles an hour on the interstate system
New Hampshire’s Speeding and DWI Penalties
In and of itself, the penalties for speeding on New Hampshire’s roadways might not seem that imposing. The monetary fines associated with speeding are as follows:
Miles per hour above the limit specified:
§ 1-10 $50
§ 11-15 75
§ 16-20 100
§ 21-25 200
§ 26+ Must appear in court
However, when the act of speeding involves an intoxicated motorist, it changes the game.
These laws have been enacted in New Hampshire because, even by itself, excessive or reckless speeding poses a genuine danger. In the same 2011 report, the NHTSA estimated that another 30% of all fatal car accidents nationwide involved excessive speeding. Consequently, the criminal penalties and sanctions for driving while intoxicated and speeding together are much more significant than each would be on its own.
Per state statute RSA 265-A: 18 I (b), the criminal penalties for an aggravated DWI conviction include:
§ Criminal charges for a Class A misdemeanor
§ A minimum monetary fine of $750.00
§ A minimum mandatory jail sentence of 17 days – only 12 of which can be suspended
§ A comprehensive substance abuse disorder evaluation
§ Required installation of an ignition interlock device
§ A mandatory period of driver’s license suspension that can range from 18 to 24 months
§ Random drug testing
Contact an Experienced NH DWI Lawyer Immediately
If you have been arrested for and charged with an aggravated DWI involving excessive speeding within New Hampshire, it is imperative for you to contact a skilled and experienced NH DWI lawyer immediately. Such criminal charges are quite serious and can produce long reaching consequences that affect your ability to drive, your family, and even your professional career, in addition to other aspects of your life.
For a free consultation regarding your case, please contact our law firm today. We can be reached via email, telephone, or through our website. If convicted of a DWI offense in New Hampshire, you could stand to lose quite a lot. Ensure that you achieve the best outcome for your case with the right legal representation by your side.