If you have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) more than once in New Hampshire, you will be sentenced under very specific state laws requiring mandatory jail time and completion of a Multiple Offender Program (MOP).
If you've been convicted of a second DWI more than two years, but not more than 10 years after your first offense, you will be sentenced to a 10-day minimum sentence in a county jail.
However, you will spend only three days in detention.
You'll spend the remaining 7 days completing the mandatory Multiple Offender Program (MOP) at a Multiple Offender Intervention Detention Center.
Parenthetically, the same sentence will be applied if someone is convicted of a first offense DWI with aggravating circumstances. These circumstances can include a minor (someone under 21 years of age) arrested for DWI, a commercial driver whose Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.04 or above, or someone who has broken more than one law when found DWI.
If you are convicted of second DWI within two years preceding the date of the second offense, you will be sentenced to 30 days in jail, and 7 days in the Multiple Offender Program.
No matter what amount of time you are sentenced to jail, attendance for MOP participation must be scheduled within 21 days of conviction.
What is the Multiple Offender Program?
The Multiple Offender Program (MOP) is a substance abuse program. According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), MOP consists of:
- An intensive 7-day, 6-night residential program. One evening is set aside specifically for family education and discussion;
- Alcohol and other drug education, group interactions and self-assessment; and
- An evaluation by a licensed or certified alcohol and drug counselor.
Additional time spent at the Center may be recommended. Failure to complete the program will result in a charge of contempt of court and a 14-day sentence in a county jail.
A suspended license cannot be re-instated until the program has been completed, and in some cases your license will be suspended for an even longer duration.
Is the program free?
The program is not free. Currently, the fee is $1,550.00, due upon entry into the program; however, payment plans are available. This amount is over and above any fines set by the Court, or any costs you may have to pay for reinstatement of your driver's license after the suspension period expires.
What if the MOP can't accommodate me within the prescribed limits?
If the MOP program cannot accommodate you because of overcrowding, the DHHS Commissioner has approved three equivalent programs to assist in reducing any backlog.
If charged with DWI, seek the counsel of an experienced DWI New Hampshire lawyer. Only an attorney with a DWI specialty will be up to date on the latest legal developments in the state. Your attorney will also help prepare a credible defense for you, and work to minimize any fines and penalties that may be assessed.