Picture of Michael Anzalone

New Hampshire Legislature Considering First-Time Drunk Driving Offenders the Ability to Drive to Certain Locations

CONCORD, N. H. _ The New Hampshire Legislature is considering giving first-time drunk driving offenders the ability to drive to work, school and to certain other locations.

The Senate gave preliminary approval to House Bill 496, which according to the New Hampshire Union Leader, would establish a restricted driver’s license for first-time offenders after it has been suspended for 60 days or more. Twenty other states have a similar law in place.

Legislators say the bill is intended to give someone who has never been charged with a DWI offense an opportunity to drive to work, to attend substance abuse treatment and to go to school or the doctor. The restricted driver would also be able to take family members to the doctor or hospital during medical emergencies, according to the proposal.

The bill still must be approved by the Senate Finance Committee before it goes for a final vote in the state Senate. The Senate has until May 15 to vote on the bill.

DWI attorneys in New Hampshire will be watching to see what lawmakers decide. It is advisable to consult with a lawyer if you think this might affect your case.

According to media reports, the restricted license limits the times _ and the days _ the offender could driver. And it would cost $50 to get the restricted driver’s license.

There are a number of restrictions included in the proposed bill. For example the driver would have to agree to have an enhanced ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle. This device prevents a vehicle from starting if there is alcohol on the driver’s breath.

Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, told the Union Leader the device provides police with real-time data to alert them if the driver has someone else blow into the device, or if the person is driving at a time that is not allowed under the program. And it alerts police if the driver goes into an area that has not been approved by the court.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says it supports a law requiring all convicted drunk drivers to have an ignition interlock system installed in their vehicles.

“Drunk driving deaths are 100 percent preventable, and reducing the number of drunk driving fatalities in New Hampshire begins with strengthening the state’s drunk driving laws,” MADD National President Jan Withers said in a statement.

Currently, a judge can order the device to be installed in driver’s vehicle if the driver is convicted of DWI or DUI.

A DWI lawyer in New Hampshire can provide details on current laws regarding driving under influence of drugs or alcohol.

In New Hampshire, police, judges and lawmakers consider DWI or DUI major offenses. If you are stopped by a police officer for suspected drunk driving, you may face a number of life-changing events.

This is true especially for first-time DWI offenders who have never been in trouble with the law before. Being stopped and accused of DWI could land you in jail for the night, or more, depending on the circumstances.

And it will cost you time and money. You will be responsible for fees and fines associated with an arrest for driving under the influence. In the case of this proposed bill, for example, the driver would have to pay $50 for the restricted license.

There are also multiple court fees and fines. And you will have to pay your attorney.

If a judge orders you into a drug or alcohol treatment facility, you’ll also have to pay the fees associated with that program.

In addition, consider the time costs of a DWI arrest. You may have to miss a significant amount of time away from the job because court proceedings take place during typical work hours. So you will either have to take personal time or, in many cases, you simply won’t be paid for time missed due to court proceedings.

Remember, it’s always best not to drink and drive. Or take drugs and get behind the wheel.

But if you do get pulled over, it’s in your best interests to contact a lawyer who specializes in DWI in New Hampshire right away.

Client Reviews
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