Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Hampshire because driving while intoxicated is dangerous. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, 30% of traffic accident fatalities resulted from accidents involving alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can cause side effects that impair a person's judgment, reaction time and overall driving ability. In an effort to discourage and prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, DWI laws have been passed in the United States.
DWI charges can be even more severe when the driver demonstrates an additional factor which makes their offense even more reckless. Many of these factors will warrant an aggravated DWI charge. Some common factors that can lead to an aggravated charge including the following:
- Driving with a minor in the vehicle
- Driving with an excessive amount of alcohol in your system
- Attempting to escape arrest
New Hampshire Speeding Related Aggravated DWI Laws
Under New Hampshire law RSA 265-A:3, a person can be charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated if he/she " Drives or operates at a speed more than 30 miles per hour in excess of the prima facie limit”. Additionally, the “prima facie limit” is speed limit that drivers should not exceed in the absence of a posted speed limit. Under RSA 265:60 II, the prima facie limits for New Hampshire are as follows:
(a) In a posted school zone, at a speed of 10 miles per hour below the usual posted limit from 45 minutes prior to each school opening until each school opening and from each school closing until 45 minutes after each school closing.
(b) 30 miles per hour in any business or urban residence district as defined in RSA 259:118;
(c) 35 miles per hour in any rural residence district as defined in RSA 259:93, and on any class V highway outside the compact part of any city or town as defined in RSA 229:5, IV;
(d) 55 miles per hour in other locations, except as provided in (e);
(e) 65 miles an hour on the interstate system
Penalties for Speeding and Driving Under the Influence in New Hampshire
This law is in place because excessive speeding is dangerous by itself, and when combined with impaired driving it could be extremely reckless. The NHTSA states that about 30% of all fatal auto accidents. As a result, the penalties for speeding and driving while intoxicated are greater than either offense would be on its own. Under RSA 265-A:18 I (b) the penalties for aggravated DWI include:
- Class A misdemeanor criminal charges
- A fine of at least $750
- At least 17 days of jail time- At least 5 of which cannot be suspended
- A full substance use disorder evaluation
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- License suspension of 18 months to 2 years
- Possible random drug testing
New Hampshire Speeding and DWI Defense
If you have been arrested for aggravated DWI in New Hampshire, contact a DWI lawyer right away. These charges are serious and can have long term consequences on your ability to drive, your career and many other aspects of your life.