DWI and Endangering a Minor in New Hampshire

Posted by Ryan Russman | Aug 02, 2023 | 0 Comments

Driving while intoxicated with a passenger in the vehicle that is a minor can lead to multiple criminal charges in New Hampshire. The Nashua Telegraph reported that a child care worker in Merrimack, NH was arrested for aggravated DWI after showing up at her job under the influence of alcohol. Police were contacted after a 29-year-old returned to work from her lunch break visibly intoxicated. To make matters worse, this person was employed at a childcare center. The childcare center's director noticed that they appeared drunk and immediately asked them to leave. Police were then contacted and they was eventually stopped.

At the time of the police stop, the person was driving with their five-year-old daughter in the vehicle. The childcare center also told police that they had been caring for 3 young children earlier in the day. The person was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 and was charged with aggravated DWI and 4 counts of endangering a minor.

According to New Hampshire law 265-A:3, a person can be charged with aggravated DWI for operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration over the legal limit or while under the influence of a drug and carrying a passenger who is under the age of 16. An aggravated DWI charge can also arise from driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more. In this situation, Lever was accused of both. Additionally, according to RSA 639:3 I:

A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child or incompetent if he knowingly endangers the welfare of a child under 18 years of age or of an incompetent person by purposely violating a duty of care, protection or support he owes to such child or incompetent, or by inducing such child or incompetent to engage in conduct that endangers his health or safety.

By caring for the three young children at the person's job and for driving with the five-year-old daughter in the vehicle while impaired, they are believed to have violated their duty of care. In New Hampshire each minor under the age of 18 that is involved in a case of endangering a child will result in an additional charge. Hence, the person was also charged with 4 counts of endangering a minor.

Though both endangering a minor and aggravated DUI involving a passenger under 16 are misdemeanor offenses, this does not mean that the person will not face serious penalties if they are found guilty.

If convicted for aggravated DWI, you would face:

  • A fine of at least $750
  • 17 days of jail
  • installation of an ignition interlock device
  • license suspension of 18 months to 2 years

A conviction for endangerment of a child can result in additional fines, probation and even jail time.

Perhaps one of the most serious consequences of a conviction for would be the addition of DWI and engagement of a child to your criminal record. Certain employers perform background checks on candidates. The presence of these types of convictions would most certainly prevent the candidate from being hired.

If you find yourself facing charges for aggravated DWI or any type of child endangerment offense, contact our office as soon as possible to speak with one of our defense attorneys. 

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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