5. Sentencing & Other Collateral Consequences of a Drunk Driving Conviction
Besides the often mandatory penalties that are included with DWI convictions (See previous chapter for details), there are often other collateral or potential consequences associated with DWI.
If the driver is found guilty of DWI, the sentence shall be imposed within 35 days. The driver must do a few other things before the DMV will re-instate the license, which include: paying a $100 restoration fee, having an SR-22 insurance certificate on file, and paying all fines.
5.1.1 Driver Intervention Program
If, on a standard first offense, the Court decides to allow the driver to have early reinstatement of up to 6 months (or longer as some Judges issue an order that is not technically allowed by the statute), the relevant driver intervention program must be “entered” into within 45 days of date of conviction (the program does not have to be completed within the 45 days).
The same 6 month early re-instatement is also available with “good cause found by the court noted in writing” for aggravated DWI.
The driver must successfully complete the required alcohol program before the DMV will re-instate the driver’s license.
At the end of the alcohol program, the person will complete an exit interview. In certain cases, the alcohol program will want “aftercare.” This may be any form of additional treatment. It usually includes a LADAC evaluation/counseling or AA meetings.
The relevant programs tend to use a mathematical formula to decide who needs further treatment. The three main things most likely to require further treatment are a previous DWI, a high BAC (.16), or if the program feels the driver is lying/has an alcohol problem.
If the program recommends further action, the driver is entitled to a “red flag” hearing at the DMV to dispute the additional requirements. The request must be made within 20 days of the notification by the DMV, and the burden is on the intervention program to show the client has not successfully completed the program.
5.2 Out of State Drivers
If an out of state driver is convicted of DWI, New Hampshire will suspend the driver’s privilege to drive in New Hampshire. New Hampshire participates in a Driver License Compact. As part of this compact, New Hampshire will typically forward a conviction of the DWI to the Home State (However, sometimes the bureaucracy fails). Once the State of the originating driver learns of the conviction, the originating State typically reciprocates by suspending the driver license for the period of suspension that would occur had the DWI taken place in the Home State.
5.3 Drivers Under 21
If a driver under 21 is convicted of DWI, besides the license loss of at least one year, the driver will not be eligible for re-issuance of a license prior to the age of 21 unless the person satisfies the director after an administrative hearing that the person will drive in a safe manner if the license is issued. The director may place such restrictions on any license so issued as the director deems in the best interest of public safety.
5.4 Travel to Foreign Countries
A conviction for DWIresults in a criminal record. Some countries will not permit the driver to enter the country. Being neighbors to Canada, one should be somewhat familiar with the possible consequences.
The general rule for Canada, is that an “indictable offense”, as defined by the Canadian Code, can prohibit entry as an excludable offense. DWI is an indictable offense.
One can be rehabilitated to gain entry, generally,once5 years pass and there are no other indictable offenses.
5.5 Immigration Consequences
If the DWI charge is a Felony, or punishable by at least one year in jail, the client can have immigration consequences that include being deported. This category would include all aggravated DWIs and subsequent DWIs, but exclude all standard first offense DWI.
5.6 Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
A driver will lose his CDL for at least one year upon a DWI conviction, or ALS suspension regarding the implied consent statute. The BAC limit in New Hampshire for a CDL is .04.
If the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time, the license loss will be at least 3 years. For a second offense, there will be a lifetime loss of the driver’s CDL, but the driver may apply for reinstatement after 10 years.
It does not matter if the driver was in a vehicle requiring a CDL at the time of driving, only that the driver had a CDL.
5.7 Loss of Boating Privileges
Any person who is convicted of a violation of RSA 265-A:2, involving a motor vehicle shall lose the privilege to operate a motorboat on the waters of this state for a period of one year from the date of conviction.
5.8 Possible Pilot License Consequences
Anyone who holds a pilot’s license must notify the FAA of an ALS suspension or DWI conviction within 60 days. Failure to report can result in an investigation action against the certification.
5.9 Demerit Points Suspension
A DWI conviction counts as 6 points on a license. A certain number of points within a certain time can result in license suspension.
Saf-C 212.02 Assessment of Points: Suspensions.
(a) Any person under 18 years of age who accumulates the number of demerit points specified below, in accordance with Saf-C 212.04 shall be subject to the following suspension period:
(1) For 6 demerit points in one calendar year, up to 3 months;
(2) For 12 demerit points in 2 consecutive calendar years, up to 6 months;
(3) For 18 demerit points in 3 consecutive calendar years, up to one year.
(b) Any person 18 to under 21 years of age who accumulates the number of demerit points specified below, in accordance with Saf-C 212.04, shall be subject to the following suspension period:
(1) For 9 demerit points in one calendar year, up to 3 months;
(2) For 15 demerit points in 2 consecutive calendar years, up to 6 months;
(3) For 21 demerit points in 3 consecutive calendar years, up to one year.
(c) Any person 21 years of age or older who accumulates the number of demerit points specified below, in accordance with Saf-C 212.04 shall be subject to the suspension period specified:
(1) For 12 demerit points in one calendar year, up to 3 months;
(2) For 18 demerit points in 2 consecutive calendar years, up to 6 months;
(3) For 24 demerit points in 3 consecutive calendar years, up to one year.
(d) For the purpose of assessing the points as specified in Saf-C 212.03, the violation date, not the conviction date, shall be used to determine whether the appropriate number of points have been obtained within a particular calendar year.
(e) When 2 or more convictions result from a single incident, the commissioner shall assess points for one offense only, if the offenses are assigned different demerit points, the offense having the greater point value shall be used.
(f) Any person convicted under the laws of another state, of any violation which would have constituted a violation specified in Saf-C 212.03 if committed in New Hampshire, shall be assessed the number of points specified in that section.
 N.H. RSA 265-A:18(VIII)
 N.H. RSA 265-A:18(I)(a)(4)
 N.H. RSA 265-A:18(I)(1(c)
Saf-C 205.04(a)(6) &Saf-C 205.04(a)(7) & N.H. RSA 265-A:42
 N.H. RSA 265-A:42(V)(b)
 N.H. RSA 263:77 See also Saf-C 204.07
 N.H. RSA 263:14(V)
 Please note I am not license to practice in Canada, and therefore any advice related to Canada is not legal advice, and should not be relied on, and should be confirmed for any accuracy or inaccuracies.
Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010)
 N.H. RSA 264:94
 N.H. RSA 265-A:23
 N.H. RSA 264:94(II)
 N.H. RSA 264:94(III)
 N.H. RSA 265-A:20
 14 C.F.R. 61.15