Defining DWI : First Offense Class B Misdemeanor DWI

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

If you have consumed alcohol, you should consider a few things before getting behind the wheel. First, New Hampshire has an implied consent law, which means that if you are operating a vehicle on any New Hampshire road, you are automatically giving consent to physical tests and exams that will help law officials determine if you are driving while intoxicated. These tests include field sobriety tests, urine tests, and breath tests.

In New Hampshire, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is defined as operating or being in physical control of a vehicle on a public way, while under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled drugs. Being in physical control of a vehicle means being in the driver's seat with a key in the ignition–even if the engine in not on.

Intoxication is determined by the amount of alcohol concentrated in your blood (Blood Alcohol Concentration level or BAC). If driving a commercial vehicle, your BAC can't be at or above .04. If you are under 21 years of age your BAC can't be at or above .02. And if you are over 21, your BAC can't be at or above .08.

The penalties for a Class B Misdemeanor DWI will impact your life severely. You could lose your license for 9 months to 2 years if you are 21 or older. Under 21? Your license will be revoked for 12 to 24 months. If a passenger under the age of 16 is in the car at the time of arrest, your license will be revoked for 2 years.

First-time offenders will also be fined not less than $500, plus a 20% penalty assessment, and be required to complete an Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP). If you had a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle, you will also be required to complete a 7-day residential Multiple Offender Program (MOP).

Finally, if you're a first-time offender you will not be required to serve time in jail. You will, however, incur six demerit points on your driving record and the court may require you to install ignition interlock devices on all vehicles registered to you as well as any vehicles you use. If you are under 21, the court may require ignition interlock devices until you turn 21, however long that may be. You will be responsible for the cost of installation, calibration and maintenance of all interlock devices required.

In short, even first-time offenders can pay dearly for a First Offense Class B Misdemeanor DWI. Fair warning.

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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