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Merrimack Woman Stopped for Drunken Driving by Officers

MERRIMACK, N.H. _We have all heard it countless times. Don’t drink and drive. It’s especially important to remember that adage when you have children in your vehicle.

A Merrimack woman found out first-hand recently when she was stopped for drunken driving. Police say Kerry Dovidio, 41, was stopped on the evening of Aug. 10 by officers who suspected she was impaired. She had a child in the vehicle.

So, in addition to the already serious charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol, Dovidio also faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. And her DWI charge has been bumped up to aggravated DWI.

According to police reports, Dovidio failed a field sobriety test at the scene. A judge later released her on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

As her case heads to court on Aug. 18, she’ll need the services of a New Hampshire DWI lawyer.

There are many complexities in the DWI and DUI laws in New Hampshire and this isn’t something that you’ll want to go alone.

How does an officer know someone has been drinking while driving?

You might wonder how an officer knows that someone is driving while drunk.

There are many signs officers look for. For example, a police officer might spot a car that is going too fast or too slow. Or the vehicle might be weaving in and out of traffic, endangering the lives of others on the road. In some cases, the driver might have pulled off the road to sleep. These are things that might tip off the officers, many of whom have been well-trained in spotting possible impaired drivers.

Once you are stopped, the clock starts on your potential DWI conviction. It can be a life-changing experience.

Before you drink and drive, take a few minutes to consider the consequences.

If you are arrested and convicted on DWI charges, you’ll be looking at a minimum of having your driver’s license revoked or suspended for nie months. You may lose your license, depending on the circumstances of your case, for two years.

After you are stopped, the police officer will likely ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. If you do this, your blood alcohol content will be used against you in court. But, you have the right to say no. There are consequences, however. If you refuse to take a breath test, you will lose your driving privileges for 180 days. And, keep in mind that if it is your second breath test refusal, you’ll lose your driver’s license for 2 years.

That’s before your case even makes it to court.

New Hampshire is an implied consent state, meaning that when you were issued a driver’s license you agreed to take breath or blood or urine tests if you’re stopped for driving while impaired.

What happens next?

You’ll be arrested, taken to the police station or sheriff’s office to be processed and you’ll likely spend a night in jail. In this case, the woman was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Above all, you’ll want to make sure to contact your New Hampshire DWI lawyer, who specializes in the state’s drunken driving laws.

One thing you will learn quickly is that a DWI arrest will cost you time and money. There are hearings, meetings with your attorney and a judge may order you into drug or alcohol treatment.

This will also cost you money.

The most basic of DWI charges _ a Class B misdemeanor _ will cost you a minimum fine of $500. It can be more depending on the circumstances of your case.

Your New Hampshire DWI attorney can advise you on what to expect after you’ve been arrested for impaired driving in New Hampshire.

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Great lawyer...Professional, organized, caring and effective. Michael is very informative and was always willing to explain the reasons behind what was being done. Can't say enough about how helpful he was every step of the way. It was really nice to feel like I actually understood what was going on with my case. Catherine Veilleux