New Hampshire law enforcement uses chemical tests to determine blood alcohol
concentration after DWI and related types of traffic arrests. One method
of chemical testing is
breath testing, which measures the level of ethanol on a person's breath and translates
this into an estimated percentage of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Anyone who tests at .08 percent or higher can be charged with driving
Most states, including New Hampshire, have implied consent laws. According
to § 265-A:4 of the statutes, it is illegal to refuse a chemical
test after having been lawfully arrested under suspicion of driving under
the influence of drugs or liquor. The penalty for refusing a breath, blood
or urine test after a lawful DWI arrest will trigger administrative license
For a first chemical test refusal, the individual can face a 180-day suspension
of license. For a second or subsequent offense of the same nature, the
license suspension period will be increased to two years. Although administrative
suspension immediately goes into effect after a refusal, an individual
has the power to contest the suspension.
If you were not lawfully arrested for drunk driving, drugged driving or
a related traffic offense, then you are not required to submit to a chemical
test. Because this is true, if you or your attorney can prove that you
were not lawfully arrested, then your refusal and subsequent administrative
penalties may be dismissed.
If you were cited for breath test refusal, your
NH DWI lawyer may also be able to contend that the arresting officer did not properly
inform you of your rights. The officer may also have failed to properly
instruct you on how to complete the breath test. There are standardized
procedures that must be followed, and if the officer did not explain implied
consent law to the arrestee or failed to give them proper instruction,
then the breath test refusal could be dropped.
Here at Shaheen & Gordon, our New Hampshire DWI attorneys are committed
to providing aggressive and smart representation for those accused of
driving while intoxicated and other traffic violations. Our law firm understands
both the administrative and criminal penalties associated with drunk driving
and breath test refusals. If you find yourself in a situation where your
driving privileges and your criminal record are on the line, do not hesitate
to contact a NH DWI attorney at Shaheen & Gordon today.