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Haverhill Motorist Arrested During Checkpoint

PORTSMOUTH, N. H. _ Police made one arrest for drunken driving after stopping 189 drivers during a sobriety checkpoint on July 25.

The unlucky motorist was 26-year-old Kenneth Davis of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Police records show he was arrested during the checkpoint, which ran from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

He was released on $2,000 bail and has to return to court for an Aug. 18 arraignment date.

If you’ve been in a situation like this, please consult with a New Hampshire DWI attorney.

Checkpoints are controversial. But they are legal as long as they are properly advertised to the public by the agency conducting the operation.

What happens after you are stopped for suspicion of driving while drunk?

First, the state considers someone to be impaired if they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled drug. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or any other chemical substance _ whether natural or synthetic _ that impairs a person’s ability to drive. It also forbids a combination of drugs and alcohol that impair the driver’s abilities.

If you are over 21 years of age and have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, the state considers you legally intoxicated.

That blood alcohol level can come with just a few drinks.

And, you may also be considered impaired because of drugs you have taken _ whether they are prescription, over-the-counter or illegal drugs. You may not think anything of taking cold medicine and driving. But if you’ve never taken it before, or if you take it on an empty stomach, you may not know how it will affect you. It may make you drowsy or feel jumpy or simply not like yourself. A good rule of thumb is to never drive before you know how medicine affects you. And you shouldn’t mix drugs and alcohol.

If you are asked to take a Breathalyzer, you have the right to refuse. But the refusal can be used against you in court. And if you refuse, you’ll lose your driver’s license for 180 days.

After your arrest, depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be serve some jail time or you could get away with paying fines and going directly into the state’s Impaired Driver Care Management Program, or IDCMP. This program is designed to provide the convicted driver with rehabilitation and education.

You will undergo an evaluation that can determine whether you have a substance abuse disorder and will have to complete the requirements of the court-ordered program before your driver’s license is reinstated. In New Hampshire, this can consist of participation in treatment, education and/or recovery support services, according to the state’s Health and Human Services department.

The state agency’s website says that when someone is convicted of an aggravated, second or subsequent offense within 10 years, a judge will sentence them to a minimum of a five-day sentence in the County House of Correction.

State laws allow a certain portion of the sentence _ depending on the severity of the offense _ to be suspended to encourage participation in the IDCMP.

Within 30 days, the convicted person is required by state law to schedule a full substance use disorder evaluation. It must then be completed within 60 days of release from the county jail.

Those convicted of aggravated offenses, or second and subsequent offenses, must have a service plan. This plan may include a combination of treatment, education and/or recovery support services.

Anyone who does not comply with the program will have their driver’s license revoked and driving privileges until successful completion of the IDCMP.

An arrest and conviction for driving while under the influence could cost you a lot of time and money. You should consider this, and the dangers of driving while impaired, before you drink and drive. And speak with a DWI lawyer in New Hampshire right away.

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