There is nothing like Spring fever in Northern New England! The snow melts, the sun returns and friends, neighbors and families gather again, raising a glass to celebrate, whether it be a Memorial Day barbecue or high school and college graduation parties.
With the change of seasons, the criminal defense team at Shaheen & Gordon wished to remind our friends and clients that law enforcement is on high alert this time of year, aggressively pursuing a range of laws that impact teens and young adults, party hosts and party goers alike.
State and local police aggressively enforce impaired and distracted driving laws. New Hampshire courts impose enhanced penalties for underage drinking and driving (DWI, DUI, OUI). A DWI conviction for an impaired driver under the age of 21, comes with a one-year required license loss as well as onerous obligations through Department of Safety which must be met before an underage driver may again reinstate his or her privilege to drive.
Still new to the books, New Hampshire is targeting distracted driving through laws prohibiting cell phone calls or texting while driving, but allowing calls on a hands-free Bluetooth device for drivers over 18 years old.
Underage party goers are regularly charged in New Hampshire with possession of alcohol and possession of marijuana or other drugs. Even adult hosts of underage parties stand to lose in New Hampshire. Our laws make it a crime to host a party knowing that persons under the age of 21 will possess or consume alcohol or drugs. These statutes apply with full force to all members of the community, making conduct which is common to so many, a crime in many instances.
Should you or a loved one confront a law enforcement concern this season, the criminal defense and DWI team at Shaheen & Gordon recommends that you speak with an attorney. Our lawyers have earned industry awards for their work in criminal defense and drunk driving cases, appear in district and superior courts throughout the state and are ready to help you absorb the impact of a criminal offense or motor vehicle violation.