A Drunk Driving Arrest Can Be a Life-Changing Event
NASHAU, N. H. _ A drunk driving arrest can be a life-changing event.
If it’s your first time being arrested, it can also be an eye-opening experience. And you may have never considered all the facets of a DWI arrest and conviction.
In all likelihood, you never intended to drive while intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs. These things happen, whether you’re taking cold medication that you didn’t realize would make your drowsy or if you just stopped by a bar after work for happy hour with friends and had one too many.
Once you get stopped by the police, you’ll need to find a DWI attorney in New Hampshire who can assist you as your case heads to court. Your attorney will understand the state’s complicated DWI and DUI laws.
The bottom line is a DWI or DUI arrest will cost you plenty of money and time. It can also be embarrassing.
How will a DWI conviction affect your driving record?
The simple answer is it depends on the specifics of your case.
If your conviction is a Class B Misdemeanor, you’ll be charged a minimum $500 fine in addition to any court-imposed penalties. You’ll also be ordered into the state’s Impaired Driver Care Management Program, which is commonly referred to as the IDCMP. In this program you’ll be given an intake interview and given an initial screening.
If your screening is positive, the state requires you to complete a substance abuse disorder evaluation. And health care officials will devise a plan for you to follow.
In addition, you’ll be required to do 20 hours of classroom work. If you don’t fully participate in the program, your driver’s license won’t be reinstated.
If you are confused by any aspect of the IDCMP program, your attorney can explain it to you. That’s why it’s advisable to have a New Hampshire DWI lawyer on your side.
Of course, this program isn’t free and you’ll be required to pay all fees associated with participation in the IDCMP.
You can lose your driving privileges with a DWI conviction for a period of nine months to 2 years. The judge can suspend six months of the revocation if you follow the rules precisely _ that means that you obtain the drug and alcohol screening within 14 days of your conviction, among other things. You must be in full compliance with the sentence for the court to consider this.
Once your driver’s license is restored, a judge can order you to install an interlock device on your vehicle which will alert authorities if you attempt to drive while intoxicated. Again, this is at your expense.
If you have been down the DWI road before, you may find yourself in danger of being declared a habitual offender under New Hampshire law.
Under state law, a person can be certified as a habitual offender if they have a poor driving record. This is based on a five “rolling” year period that’s based on the date of violation that resulted in a conviction. A combination of 12 violations such as speeding, operating without a valid license and not having proof of insurance during that five year period will result in your being certified as a habitual offender.
However, if you have three major violations within the time frame, you can be tagged as a habitual offender. These offenses include DWI, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
These examples who how serious New Hampshire is about keeping the roads safe. You should refrain from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk or under the influence of drugs _ even if they are prescription drugs or those you purchase over-the-counter at a drug store. But if you do, you should be prepared to consult with a New Hampshire DWI lawyer to get the best possible advice about laws regarding driving while impaired.
An attorney who is well-versed in New Hampshire’s DWI laws will help you get the best possible outcome.