Answers from New Hampshire DWI Lawyers
If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you likely
have questions, especially if this is your first offense. The New Hampshire
DWI attorneys at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. have provided the following
answers to some of the most common questions about this type of criminal
charge. DWIs can warrant both criminal and administrative penalties.
If you have more questions than are answered here, please do not hesitate
to call a
New Hampshire DWI lawyer at our firm directly.
What is the penalty for refusing a chemical test?
If this is your first offense and you have no prior DWI convictions on
your record, then you will face driver's license revocation for 180
days. If you have any prior DWI chemical test refusals on your record,
or you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated before, then you
can face two years' revocation.
I was arrested for DWI with drugs. How long could my license be revoked for this?
According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, a first DWI and drugs
offense is punishable by 90 days to 2 years' revocation. On a second
or subsequent offense, the revocation periods will be the same.
Who is considered a habitual DWI offender?
According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety,
Habitual offenders have very poor driving records and certification is based on a 5 "rolling
year" (not a calendar year) period based upon date of violation resulting
in conviction. Any combination of 12 violations for speeding, crossing
a solid yellow line, operating without a valid license contrary to RSA
263:1 and operating without proof of insurance within this five (5) year
period will result in certification.
Three (3) "major" convictions within this same time period will
result in certification. The most common "major" convictions
are: driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, leaving the scene of
an accident, disobeying a police officer contrary to RSA 265:4, operating
with a suspended or revoked license, taking a motor vehicle without the
negligent homicide involving a motor vehicle, and manslaughter involving a motor vehicle.
In addition, some one can become a habitual offender by "mixing and
matching" One (1) "major" conviction with any combination
of eight (8) convictions for speeding, crossing the solid yellow line,
operating without a valid license and/or operating without proof of insurance.
Two (2) "major" convictions and any combination of four (4)
of the foregoing will also result in certification as a habitual offender.
For more information, please read RSA 259:39 and RSA 262:19-24.
If my license is suspended for DWI, how can I get it back?
You can only petition to get your license restored to you after you have
fulfilled the entire period of your mandated suspension for your DWI conviction.
You must also provide proof that you meet the SR-22 insurance filing requirements.
The third and final requirement before you can get your license back is
to complete an IDIP, WIDIP or an MOP program. These are all impaired driver
programs. Locations include Manchester, Dover, Berlin, Epping and Keene.
How can I find out how many demerit points I will receive for my DWI?
The New Hampshire Department of Safety's Division of Motor Vehicles
lists how many demerit points any given traffic offense will warrant.
According to the statutes:
- 265-A:3 "Aggravated DWI" will warrant 6 points
- 265-A:2 "DWI" will warrant 6 points
In New Hampshire, there are three separate categories for suspension in
the demerit program: under 18 drivers, under 21 drivers and over 21 drivers.
If you are under the age of 18, 6 points will warrant a 3 month suspension,
12 points will warrant a 6 month suspension and 18 points will warrant
a 1 year suspension. If you are under the age of 21, nine points within
one years' time will warrant a 3 month suspension, 15 points within
two years will warrant a 6 month suspension and 21 points within 3 years
will warrant a 1 year suspension. If you are over the age of 21, 12 points
within one year will warrant a 3 month suspension, 18 points within two
years will warrant a 6 month suspension and 24 points in three years will
warrant a 1 year suspension.