A Quick Stop by the Bar on The Way Home From Work Can Land You in a Ton of Trouble if You Decide to Drink and Drive
That’s the lesson a Merrimack, N. H., man learned in February 2014 when he was stopped by Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies who saw him driving in a hazardous manner along Route 126 in Rutland.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, 39-year-old Shawn W. Colburn was stopped just before 11 p.m. Deputies said he was failing to keep right and crossing the fog line.
Court records show Colburn told the deputies he was driving back to his hotel in nearby Carthage after stopping in Watertown to have a “few beers.”
If you find yourself in a similar situation, make sure you contact a lawyer with knowledge of New Hampshire DWI laws. Your attorney can advise you on how you should proceed as the DWI case winds through the court system.
After his arrest, Colburn submitted to a breath test and authorities found that his blood alcohol content was 0.21 percent. In New Hampshire, a person is considered legally drunk with a blood alcohol reading of 0.08 percent. Aggravated DWI in New Hampshire is charged once the levels of alcohol in the blood system reaches 0.18 or higher.
So Colburn was considered way above the legal limit to drive in New Hampshire.
It is a good idea to know the laws of the state if you are going to drink and drive. If you are arrested, it is essential to get the advice of an attorney who understands New Hampshire’s laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Often, like with Colburn, a DWI charge follows an evening out with friends at the local bar. If you decide to drink, it’s advisable to have a designated driver to take you home. Or call a taxi cab.
In New Hampshire, police officers can arrest a driver with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.
There are a numbers of reasons a law enforcement officer might believe that a driver is impaired. For example, the officer may spot a car that is going too fast, or too slow. Or the driver may be straddling lanes or swerving, or even passing improperly, according to the New Hampshire Department of Safety and Division of Motor Vehicles.
The state has an implied consent law, which basically means that when you obtain your driver’s license, you agree to follow rules and regulations.
Once a driver is arrested for suspicion of DWI in New Hampshire, the road through the court system could be long and costly. There are fines, court fees and time missed from work to attend hearings. And, in some cases, a judge can order a driver to attend an alcohol treatment program, which can result in even more missed time from work.
A New Hampshire DWI attorney will tell you that you have the right to refuse to take the field sobriety tests if a police officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving. But you must understand that there are consequences. For example, you’ll lose your driver’s license for 180 days _ just for saying no to taking the tests.
Colburn, in the case outlined previously, agreed to take a Breathalyzer test. The results show he was nearly three times over the limit the state considers safe to drive.
There are serious consequences for DWI in New Hampshire. The impaired driver can be fined, serve a jail sentence or even have his driver’s license suspended. Judges can also require the convicted drivers to attend _ and pay for _ alcohol treatment.
If you are arrested on DWI charges, it is advisable to speak to an attorney who is well-versed in New Hampshire’s DWI laws as soon as possible.