New Hampshire DUI Laws & Penalties

New Hampshire Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

New Hampshire DUI is defined as 2 seperate actions against you; a criminal matter handled in the New Hampshire court system and a civil matter handled with the NH DMV. There are 2 violations that can result in being convicted of a New Hampshire DUI; the first being the typical drunk driving violation where the officer determines that you are impaired through roadside field sobriety tests, your physical appearance and driving abilities. The second is what is referred to as the New Hampshire ‘per se’ law which means that you are guilty if you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater. No evidence of impairment is necessary, just the BAC reading of .08% or greater.

The state also adds to the definition of a New Hampshire DUI by including a second level of DUI, an aggravated DUI. In an aggravated DUI the blood alcohol level is .16% or greater. This level carries higher fines and suspension times. 

If you are charged with a New Hampshire DUI, contact a qualified DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. This is important because you automatically lose your license for thirty days unless you or your attorney files for an administrative hearing. Keep in mind, however, that your criminal trial will not be a jury trial, unlike in most other states. The higher charges of aggravated DUI, etc.. do allow for a jury trial though. 

First Time New Hampshire DUI Offenders

New Hampshire, unlike most states, does not usually give jail time to DUI first offenders. If, however, you are in an accident while you are driving intoxicated and someone is injured or killed, or if you are guilty of aggravated DUI, you could face jail time. 

Part of the punishment for a New Hampshire DUI is some mandatory education. You will be required to take a twenty hour driver intervention program. You pay this with your assessment fee, which is usually between $280 and $380. You will also be assessed by a non-profit agency. This agency may choose to prescribe treatment if it is determined that there is an alcohol problem present.

If you are convicted of a DUI in New Hampshire, you will face the possibility of losing your license for a period between ninety days and two years. In order to get your license reinstated you must pay $50. You may be able to get a temporary license if your attorney can prove that not being able to drive puts you and your family in serious hardship. This will be a restricted license that only allows you to drive to specific locations.

Your insurance premium will increase after a DUI conviction in New Hampshire. Be prepared for this. Also, you may find that your insurance company will no longer cover you, and you will need to find new coverage through a new high risk company that provides SR-22 coverage. 

Here is a summary of the penalties you face:

New Hampshire First Offense DUI Penalties

  • No required jail time, unless aggravated factors are present
  • $350 to $2,000 in fines
  • Drivers license revocation for 90 days to 2 years
  • Mandatory attendance at DUI classes

New Hampshire Second Offense DUI Penalties

  • Jail time up to 1 year, with a minimum of 10 consecutive days
  • In-patient 7 day treatment program
  • $500 – $2,000 fine plus $100 – $400 penalty assessment
  • Revocation of license for 3 years

New Hampshire Third Offense DUI Penalties

  • Maximum 1 year jail time
  • $500 – $2,000 in fines plus 20% surcharge
  • Revocation of drivers license for 5 years minimum
  • 30 day in-patient program for treatment

New Hampshire Fourth or Subsequent Offense DUI

  • Felony offense
  • Maximum 1 year jail time
  • $500 – $2,000 in fines plus 20% surcharge
  • Revocation of drivers license for 7 years minimum
  • 30 day in-patient program for treatment

New Hampshire Aggravating Factors

  • Transporting a person under the age of 16 will result in the maximum allowable license revocation and the defendant must complete the 7 day multiple DWI offender program to restore their driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock device may be required for a period of 6 months to 2 years.
  • An ignition interlock device will be required after revocation or suspension period for at least 12 months for for drivers under 21 years of age.

New Hampshire BAC Assumptions

  • BAC levels of .001 to .03 are not considered to be under the influence.
  • BAC levels of .031 to .079 are not considered to be under the influence, but is admissible as evidence in court.
  • BAC levels of .08 or greater are considered to be under the influence.

New Hampshire Implied Consent Law

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Blood, breath or urine testing as selected by the officer.
  • The officer must advise the defendant of the penalties for test refusal. If the oficer fails to advise the defendant, the test is not admissible in court.
  • There are no immediate license sanctions based on the test results.
  • Test refusal results in a 180 day to 2 year license revocation and is admissible in court. There is no penalty for refusing the PBT.
  • If the defendant is under 21 years old there is a minimum 1 year license revocation for any offense.

New Hampshire Chemical DUI Chemical Testing

  • All chemical testing must be performed by a person with a valid permit in accordance with Deparment of Health and Human Services standards.
  • Blood draws for police testing must be administered by a licensed physician, registered nurse or other qualified person.
  • The defendant has the right to have an independent chemical test done by a qualified person of their choice. The cost of an independent test is the responsibility of the defendant.
  • Test results will be sent by certified mail to the person tested.

New Hampshire SR22 Insurance

In addition to the above punishments, you will also find that after you are convicted of a DUI in New Hampshire you’ll also have to get what’s referred to as a New Hampshire SR-22 insurance policy. This is a high risk auto insurance policy that is required after a drunk driving offense in New Hampshire. 

DUI Arrest has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of New Hampshire and has worked out a special discount only available here to our website visitors.

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in New Hampshire for any less.

Additional New Hampshire DUI Resources