First Offense

A DWI refers to “Driving While Intoxicated” or “Driving While Impaired” and describes the act of driving while drunk or on drugs. Similarly, a DUI refers to “Driving Under the Influence.” New Hampshire law uses the term DWI, while most people use the two terms interchangeably.

Any driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher is considered too intoxicated or impaired to operate a motor vehicle in New Hampshire and may receive a first offense DWI.

Someone convicted of a first offense DWI or DUI is usually treated less severely than an offender with multiple DWI convictions. In New Hampshire, DWI penalties for a first offense depend on a variety of factors, most of which are at the sole discretion of the judge.

Penalties for New Hampshire DWI First Offense

Under New Hampshire drunk driving law, several potential consequences can result from a first offense DWI conviction. While the first time you are convicted of DWI in NH will not result in a felony conviction, it will be classified as a Class B misdemeanor. The court may also fine first-time offenders up to $1,000.

Immediately following a DWI first offense conviction, your driver's license is revoked for at least 9 months. The court may, at its own discretion, extend the revocation period for longer than 9 months, but not for more than 2 years.

A first-time DUI will also result in the required completion of an Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP). If the convicted offender enters an IDIP within forty-five days of the conviction, the court may suspend the license revocation until the program is successfully completed.

Additional alcohol treatment programs and counseling may also be required if deemed appropriate by the court. The court can also require the individual to submit random urinalysis or other tests to ensure the person is complying with certain terms the court has set forth.

First Offense DWI Under Age 21

Drivers convicted of DWI under the age of 21 face harsher penalties–even if they are only convicted of a first-offense DUI. Because it is illegal in New Hampshire to consume alcohol under the age of 21, the court can suspend the person's license for a year and require alcohol treatment and counseling.

Penalties for 1st time DWI

Penalties for 1st time underage DWI

Class B Misdemeanor

License revocation for 1 year

Fine up to $1,000

Alcohol and drug treatment and counseling programs

License revocation for 9 months-2 years

Completion of an Impaired Driver Intervention Program

Alcohol and drug programs and treatment

Your First DWI Arrest? What's Next

After your first DWI arrest, the next step is seeking a qualified attorney to put on a good defense. DWI defense of a first offense can involve reducing the conviction to a violation.

New Hampshire DWI Attorney Russman can possibly influence the court to reduce the conviction to a violation. In so doing, the court may consider one's driving record, completion of alcohol or drug related programs, and the difficulty that having a record will cause the offender.

Attorney Russman may also advise the offender to plea bargain in exchange for a shorter sentence, lesser penalty or lesser charge.

An NH DWI Attorney That Fights For You

Attorney Russman is Board Certified in DWI Defense Law and is experienced in helping drivers avoid DWI convictions. He will fight to keep you out of jail and avoid license suspension.

To build the best defense for you, Attorney Russman will review police reports and any relevant alcohol tests administered to you. Attorney Russman will challenge the administration of any tests that may have a high error percentage and may have been unfairly prejudicial under the circumstances. He will also gather information from any witnesses that may have been at the scene who can provide an account of what transpired.

To explore what may be your best possible outcome, contact Attorney Russman for a complimentary case review today.