Second Offense

Experiencing the cost and trauma of a DWI, or DUI, in New Hampshire can be a sobering event for first-time offenders. If you are facing a DUI second offense, the implications can be life-changing.

Many first DWI offenders had had little experience with police officers other than for minor traffic violations, so after having been told they were under arrest for drunk driving, handcuffed, and then placed in a detention or holding cell, the harsh reality set in that they had committed a serious offense.

If this was you, you recall that after going to court and pleading guilty, financial and other costs began to accumulate. Along with legal fees, you probably had to pay a court fine of at least $500. You may have also been required to spend another $500 and attend for the Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP). Once your auto insurer found out, your premiums may have soared. Your driving privileges were suspended for a minimum of nine months.

Time passed and you got your license back and you told yourself that you learned a valuable lesson. You may have then gotten a little careless and drove after having had a few drinks, but nothing happened.

But then it happened: a police officer familiar, gut-wrenching flashing lights appeared behind you again.

New Hampshire DWI 2nd Offense Penalties

A DWI second offense, or DUI as many people in New Hampshire refer to it, carries much harsher penalties than the first offense. It is also upgraded to a class A misdemeanor.

Your fine for a DUI second offense is increased to at least $750.00. If you had an accident and caused property damage, you will be responsible for reimbursing the property owner as well.

More significantly, a DUI second offense means jail time. You will be required to spend a minimum of 37 consecutive days in jail, meaning that you will not be let out on weekends to go home. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could serve more than 37 days and up to one year, although this is rarely imposed unless your driving conduct resulted in a serious injury — in which case you could be facing up to seven years in prison.

Typically, though, your first 30 days are served at a county correctional facility and the remaining seven days in a multiple offender program (MOP), the cost of which is yours.

This incarceration period is conditioned on whether your first offense was less than two years ago.

If your first DUI offense was more than two years ago, your consecutive jail term is reduced to at least 10 consecutive days, with three days served in a county correctional facility and seven days in the MOP program.

You also face possible additional alcohol treatment if the judge feels it is warranted in your case, again at your cost.

Another significant upgrade for a New Hampshire DWI second offense is that your driving privileges are revoked for a minimum of three (3) years, with the time running from the time of your guilty plea or if you are found guilty at trial. Pleading guilty is the same as being found convicted. If you are under 21, you face a minimum license revocation of one year.

To get your license back, contact Attorney Russman to help you apply for reinstatement to the Division of Motor Vehicles after the suspension period is over. You will be required to retake all the driving tests.

First DWI Offense

Second DWI Offense Within 2 Years

Second DWI Offense More Than 2 Years From First Offense

Fine of at least $500

Fine of at least $750.00

Fine of at least $750.00

Attendance at IDIP Program-$500

Mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 37 consecutive days with 30 days in county correctional facility and 7 days in a MOP program

Mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 10 consecutive days with 3 days in county correctional facility and 7 days in a MOP program

License suspension-Minimum of 9 months

License suspension-Minimum of 3 years

License suspension-Minimum of 3 years

Possible court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment program

Possible court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment program

Possible court-ordered ignition interlock device installed in all vehicles for 12 months to 2 years after license reinstatement

Possible court-ordered ignition interlock device installed in all vehicles for 12 months to 2 years after license reinstatement

Other NH DWI 2nd Offense Penalties

It is also possible you could be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed at your expense in any vehicle used or registered to you for 12 months to two years after your license is reinstated.

Before starting any of these vehicles, you will have to blow into a handheld device attached to the ignition system. If the device detects your blood alcohol content (BAC) to be at .02 percent or above, it will not start. Further, any breath samples that are above the permitted level will be recorded and made available to the authorities.

One other aspect of an NH DWI second offense, or even for a first offense, is that unlike many other states that allow its residents to drive on a limited or restricted license for generally work purposes, New Hampshire law does not have any provision for a Hardship or Restricted License. In other words, your revocation or suspension is total.

Should you fail to complete any of the court-ordered programs or alcohol or drug treatment programs, you could be found in contempt of court and subject to a minimum prison time of 30 days.

Meet with NH DWI Attorney Ryan Russman

Facing considerable jail time and a prolonged suspension of your driver's license can mean loss of a job for many people, shame, and a drastic change in lifestyle. In many cases, there are defenses that a trained specialist in New Hampshire DUI law can explore and present on your behalf.

Contact Ryan Russman for a free, confidential consultation. Ryan Russman has successfully defended many people facing 2nd offense DWI charges.