NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS A NEW DEFINITION for DUI
On January 1st, 2013 in New Hampshire the new Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws and penalties went into effect. The definition of “under the influence” was expanded to include not only the traditional liquor and controlled drugs but now encompasses prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and any chemical substance, natural or synthetic, which impairs a person’s ability to drive.
One of the biggest changes relates to sentencing and treatment. The new statutory scheme seeks to address underlying substance abuse issues that result in offenders driving under the influence. Individuals convicted will now be referred to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program for a substance use evaluation. Basically, you are evaluated to see what the nature of your substance use disorder consists of and must follow all aftercare recommendations. You must also complete an Impaired Driver Education Program prior to the restoration of your license
The nature and scope of penalties depends upon the level of offense. Take a look at our DWI pages which outline the new penalties. In many cases, jail time is suspended provided that you participate in the Impaired Driver Care Management Program. Jail time can be imposed if you are non-compliant with the program.
Many aspects of the penalty phase remain. Upon conviction you face a mandatory jail sentence (in many cases) expensive fines, license loss, reinstatement fees at the DMV, a damaged motor vehicle record and insurance requirements. New Hampshire does not have a “Cinderella” or hardship license.
WHAT TO DO
You owe it to yourself to speak with a lawyer well in advance of your court date. You wouldn’t pull a scalpel out of your pocket and perform an appendectomy – nor should you attempt to tackle a DWI on your own.
Mark and I are always happy to talk with you or meet you with you in our office to discuss your case.
Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525