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New Hampshire DWI Law - New Hampshire DWI Laws

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New Hampshire Administrative License Suspension
RSA 265:91-a

  • New Hampshire DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) will administratively suspend for six months a driver's license or privilege to drive if the person:
  1. Refuses to take a blood alcohol test under RSA 265:92 OR
  2. Submits to a blood alcohol test which discloses an alcohol concentration of .08% BAC or higher; in the case of persons under the age of 21, .02% BAC or higher.
    • Suspension period is for six months for first refusal 
      or test over the legal limit.
    • Suspension period is for two years if there is a prior 
      refusal, prior DWI or a prior Aggravated DWI, or a 
      prior Administrative License Suspension.
  • Law enforcement officer serves an immediate Notice of Suspension to the driver and the suspension shall be effective 30 days after the date of service. The officer shall take the driver's NH license and issue a temporary driving permit as part of the suspension notice which shall be good for 30 days. (Out-of-state driver licenses will not be taken and a temporary driving permit is not required, but the DMV shall transmit a copy of the suspension order to the motor vehicle authorities in the jurisdiction where the person's license was issued and also the jurisdiction of the person's residence if different from that where-the license was issued.)
  • The person may request in writing within 30 days either an administrative review or hearing. The hearing shall be held within 20 days after the filing of the request, unless a continuance is requested by the person. A continuance does not stay the order of suspension or revocation. Hearings are limited in scope. The hearings officer shall issue his ruling, in writing, within 15 days of the hearing date.
  • When a license or driving privilege has been suspended under ALS, and the person is also convicted of criminal charges (such as DWI) arising out of the same event, both the suspension and the court ordered revocation shall be imposed, but the total period of suspension and revocation shall not exceed the longer of the two periods; provided, however, that any suspension for refusing to submit to a test under the provision of RSA 265:92 shall not run concurrently with any other penalty imposed.

New Hampshire DWI, 1st Offense
RSA 265:82 and RSA 263:65-a

  • Classified as a violation.
  • Fine: Not less than $350 and not more than $1,000.
  • License revocation: 90 days (minimum), up to 2 years. For any offender with a prior conviction(s), in this or any other state, within 7 years preceding the date of the second or subsequent offense, the revocation shall be for not less than 180 days nor more than 3 years. (RSA 265:82-b).
  • An Impaired Driver Intervention Program must be "successfully completed" prior to restoration. This means meeting further counseling requirements, if any, arising out of the final evaluation at the IDIP provided, however, that the offender shall have the right to a hearing at the Dept. of Safety. At the hearing, the hearing officer shall determine whether the further counseling requirements are "warranted and appropriate" and whether the offender shall be eligible for license restoration. (Effective 1/1/97)
  • Immediately following a conviction for any offense under RSA 265:82, the DMV shall examine the offender's motor vehicle record for a prior DWI conviction (under RSA 265:85 or within RSA 265:82-a) over the preceding seven years. If a prior conviction exits, the license or privilege to drive shall not be restored until the offender has successfully completed a seven-day residential Phase II Impaired Driver Intervention Program. [RSA 265:82-bVI (a) and (b)].

New Hampshire Aggravated DWI
RSA 265:82-a

  • Classified as a misdemeanor (except for provisions listed below*).
  • Fine: not less than $500 or more than $1,000 (except for provisions listed below*).
  • License revocation: 1 year mandatory, or for a period not to exceed 2 years.
  • Aggravated DWI is based on a blood alcohol concentration of .16% or higher OR a blood alcohol reading of .08% or higher, or being under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or any controlled drug, PLUS any of the following:
    • speed 30 mph over posted limit.
    • involvement in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.
    • attempting to elude an officer by increasing speed, diminishing headlights, or attempting to leave the scene of an accident.
  • Conviction of Aggravated DWI based on involvement in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury is classified as a Class B felony, and carries a fine of $1,000 - $2,000 and a license revocation of 1 year minimum mandatory up to two years. [RSA: 265:82-aI (b) & II(b), RSA 265:82-bII]

New Hampshire DWI, 2nd Offense
RSA 265:82-bI (b) (I)

  • 2nd offense is for a second DWI arrest within a seven year period; out-of-state convictions DO count.
  • Classified as a misdemeanor.
  • Fine: not less than $500, and not more than $1,000.
  • License revocation: 3 years (mandatory).
  • Jail sentence: Mandatory sentence of not less than 10 consecutive days, of which 3 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served in the County House of Corrections and 7 consecutive 24-hour periods shall be served at the state-operated multiple offender intervention detention center program within 21 days after conviction, or at the end of the defendant's appeal period. In such circumstances where the MOP has no available space, the offender shall be assigned the first available space.
  • Must pay $950 to the Director of NH Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for MOP costs.

New Hampshire DWI Multiple Offense
265:82-bII (a)

  • Any offender who has completed the DWI MOP program and is subsequently convicted under RSA 265:82 or RSA 265:82-a shall receive the following penalties:
    • Imprisonment for not less than 30 consecutive 24-hour periods.
    • Complete a 28-day treatment program at the defendant's expense (only necessary for license restoration).

RSA 265:88

  • .05% BAC or less is prima facie evidence of not Driving While Intoxicated.
    .05% to .08% BAC is considered relevant evidence against you in a DWI charge.
    .08% BAC or higher is prima facie evidence of Driving While Intoxicated.
    For persons under age 21 - .02% is prima facie evidence of DWI.
  • The introduction of any other competent evidence is not limited in considering the question of whether an offender charged with DWI or Aggravated DWI was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug.

Mandatory Suspension or Revocation of Registration
RSA 261:180 III

  • Any vehicle registered to an individual whose license is being revoked or suspended for a subsequent offense of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug, or for aggravated DWI, habitual offender, conviction of negligent homicide involving the use of a motor vehicle, or manslaughter involving the use of a motor vehicle, shall be revoked for the period of revocation or suspension of the license or privilege to drive.

Habitual Offender
RSA 250:39 and RSA 259:19

  • Habitual offender is so designated if convicted of 3 or more DWI offenses (or 1 or more DWI offenses in combination with other motor vehicle offenses for a total of 3) within a five year period. Action is taken by the Motor Vehicle Division.
  • License revocation: 4 years.

Payment of Obligation
RSA 265:82-d

  • Driver's license or privilege to operate revoked for DWI, Aggravated DWI, or Subsequent DWI shall not be restored until all obligations* of the defendant resulting from the arrest and conviction are met. (*Obligations shall mean fines, penalty assessments, court ordered restitutions or reimbursements to any person(s) injured as a result of the offense, successful completion of all required treatment & rehabilitation programs, full payment of fees for such programs, and any other court ordered costs.)

Driving After Revocation
RSA 263:64

  • Classified as a misdemeanor.
  • Fine: Up to $1,000.
  • License revocation: additional one year revocation.
  • Jail sentence: 7 consecutive 24-hour periods (must be served within 6 months).

Driving After Revocation - Habitual Offender
RSA 262:23

  • Classified as a felony.
  • Fine: minimum of $1,000.
  • Prison Sentence: minimum 1 year, up to 5 years.

New Hampshire Implied Consent
RSA 265:92I (a) 1&2

  • Upon accepting your NH driver's license, you are deemed to have given consent to take a physical or chemical test if you should ever be arrested for DWI. At the time of actual arrest, you may revoke that consent and refuse to take any tests.
  • License revocation: 6 months; revoked administratively by DMV, in addition to that given by the court and may not run concurrently with any other penalty imposed by the court.
  • Second refusal or refusal with a prior DWI conviction will result in loss of license administratively for 2 years, in addition to that given by the court.
  • Fine: $500 - first refusal; $1,000 - second refusal.

Revocation or Denial for Drugs
or Alcohol Involvement
RSA 263:56-b

  • A person 15-18 years old on date of incident: if convicted for any offense involving the sale, possession, use, or abuse of alcohol or of controlled drugs or any controlled drug analog, the court may revoke or deny a driver's license for 90 days (minimum) to 1 year (maximum), or 6 months to 2 years on a subsequent conviction.
  • A person 15-18 if convicted of possession with intent to sell a controlled drug or analog shall be subject to revocation or denial of driver's license for a mandatory minimum of 1 year period up to 5 years. (Denial of an application for a license begins on the date the offender is eligible by age for issuance of a license.)
  • A person 18 years or older on date of incident: if convicted of possession with intent to sell controlled drugs or controlled drug analogs, driver's license or privilege to operate may be revoked, at the discretion of the court for any period of time, including for life.

Suspension for Illegal Use of Driver's License
RSA 263:57-a

  • Any offender 21 years or older who knowingly loans his driver's license to an underage offender (the legal age of 21) for use as identification to purchase or consume any liquor/beverage, shall have his/her license or privilege to drive administratively suspended for 60 days by DMV.

Off Highway Recreational Vehicles (OHRV)
RSA 215-A:II

  • All provisions relating to operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while intoxicated under RSA 265:82 or 265:82-a apply to anyone operating an OHRV while under the influence or intoxicated; other similar provisions include implied consent, evidence, administration of BAC tests, payment of obligations, and requirements for successful completion of an Impaired Driver Intervention Program.

Reporting Convictions
RSA 265:82-b (IX)

  • Any offender having been convicted of any first offense violation of RSA 215-A: II, RSA 265:82, or RSA 265:82-a, any subsequent conviction under any of these sections shall constitute a second offense for the purposes of imposing penalties for second offense violation under RSA 265:82-b.
  • All convictions under these sections are reported to DMV and become a part of driving record of the offender convicted. [RSA 265:82-b(VII)].

Transporting a Person Under Age 16
RSA 265:82-b (VIII)

  • Any offender convicted of RSA 215-A II, RSA 265:82, or RSA 265:82-a violations, and who at the time of driving a vehicle or OHRV was transporting a person under the age of 16 shall have his/her driver's license or privilege to drive revoked for the maximum time period under the section violated and shall be sentenced to not less than 1, or more than 30 days.

New Hampshire Boating While Intoxicated
RSA 270:48-a

  • Any offender convicted of operating or attempting to operate a boat while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled drug shall not operate a boat on waters of this state for 1 year, whether or not the conviction is appealed.
  • Any offender convicted of BWI, who was transporting a person under the age of 16 at the time of the violation, must attend a seven-day residential Impaired Driver Intervention Program.
  • Any conviction under this section shall be reported to the DMV and shall become part of the driving record of the person convicted.

Probationary License

  • Once restored, your license will be considered a probationary license. The new license will show your license number in red, which denotes a probationary license. If you are pulled over, the officer will report this as a temporary license at the time of a driver license record check.
  • If stopped by a police officer and found to be operating a motor vehicle with a .03% BAC or higher, your license will be administratively revoked by DMV for 90-180 days, in addition to any court imposed sanctions.
  • The probationary license is in effect for three years from the date of restoration.

Elements of a New Hampshire DWI Arrest Process

  1. Probable Cause: has to be a reason to stop you; you have to do something wrong, like break a law (light out, weaving, excess speed; also includes sobriety check points).
  2. Presence of alcohol: odor of alcoholic beverage, empties, glassy/bloodshot eyes. This gives the police "reasonable cause" to give you field sobriety tests to further prove the presence of alcohol.
  3. Identification: to prove that you are you--driver's license, registration. Police will check to be sure that the picture and information on the license match the person they have pulled over.
  4. Public Way: police will take note of the road(s) on which you were traveling and that they are public ways--will report you as "traveling north on Route 3."
  5. Impairment: any test or tests, of the arresting officer's choice, to prove your impairment level. These include field sobriety tests, intoximeter (breath) tests, blood tests and/or urine tests.


Copyright © 1997 Community Alcohol Information Program