New Hampshire DUI Penalties

New Hampshire DUI laws and penalties

Each State within the United States is given the authority to write their own laws on Driving Under the Influence, or better known as DUI. Within this article we will explore the different laws within the State of New Hampshire, and their penalties. To begin with, New Hampshier has what is known as a ten year "Lookback Period". This means that any previously aquired DUI's in the past ten years have now become relevant in the sentencing process you now are facing with your current DUI charge. This is also known as a "washout" period. Also, a DUI is known equally as a DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, in the State of New Hampshire. 

What constitutes as a high BAC for a DUI/DWI in New Hampshire?

  • Under 21: .02%
  • 21 or Older: .08%
  • Commercial: .04%

There is never an acceptable time to drink and drive as your vision, reasoning, along with your mental capacity to make important decisions and judgments is severely hindered and are not capable of bouncing back to what you are able to perform without alcohol in your system. Each person is different and their tolerance level for alcohol is severely unpredictable making it impossible to say how many drinks are "normal" or not. This is what requires law enforcement to perform chemical tests on suspecting DUI offenders. If you are pulled over and requested to take a chemical test to determine your BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, New Hampshire has an implied consent law. This means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspense. For refusal to take a chemical test, your penalties will be as follows:

  • First Offense: 180 days license suspension
  • Second Offense: 2 year license suspension
  • Third Offense: 2 year license suspension

What are the penalties within the New Hampshire DUI/DWI laws?

There are many penalties within the New Hampshire DUI/DWI laws, and we will explore them here in this section. Should you be pulled over and found guilty of Driving Under the Influence, or Driving While Intoxicated, of alcohol within the boarders of the State of New Hampshire, the following are the penalties you will be facing: 

Penalty of Jail

  • First Offense: 10 days minimum
  • Second Offense: 30 days minimum
  • Third Offense: 180 days minimum

Penalties and Fines

  • First Offense: $500 to $750
  • Second Offense: $750 minimum
  • Third Offense: $750 minimum

Penalty of License Suspension

  • First Offense: 9 to 18 months
  • Second Offense: 3 years
  • Third Offense: Indefinitely

Penalty of Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

  • First Offense: No
  • Second Offense: Possible
  • Third Offense: Possible 

Additional Penalties

When you are arrested for a DUI/DWI in New Hampshire under any one of the circumstances listed below your DUI/DWI will be considered an Aggravated DWI. This will likely increase jail time, fines, and other penalties. 

  • Driving 30 MPH over the speed limit
  • Causes a collision resulting in serious injury
  • Attempts to elude a law enforcement officer
  • Passenger under the age of 16 in vehicle
  • A BAC of .16% or above


It is important to note that laws change, as well as their interpretation and application of them. Due to the fact that there are multiple jurisdictions within a State and each may choose to enforce the laws in different ways, it is important to prepare for the unexpected. For this reason you would be wise to retain the services of an experienced and professional lawyer who is well versed on the DUI/DWI laws within the State of New Hampshire and is capable of giving you the direction you need for your specific case, along with being fully aware of the current laws pertaining to DUI/DWI. 

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