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New Hampshire Mother Charged With Aggravated DUI and Endangering the Welfare of Children

BEDFORD, N. H. _ Police say a New Hampshire mother was driving under the influence of drugs when they stopped her along a highway in early May.

A concerned citizen apparently called police after seeing Ashley Cowette, 27, driving “all over the road” as she traveled on Interstate 293 in Manchester.

When police stopped her, they found she was driving while impaired with her two children_ ages 4 and 5 _ in the back seat. She’s now charged with aggravated DUI and endangering the welfare of children.

It’s never safe to drink or take drugs and drive, but when you have children in the vehicle you may to taking it to a higher level if you’re stopped by police.

It is best to call a DWI attorney in New Hampshire if this happens to you. You’ll want to get your attorney’s advice on how to plead to charges when you go before a judge. An attorney can get you the best possible outcome as your case winds through the court system.

In New Hampshire, drinking or taking drugs while driving is not taken lightly. And if children are in the vehicle, what could have been a more routine charge is ramped up. So, remember it is best not to drive if you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs _ whether they are illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

If a police officer suspects you of impaired driving, you’ll be asked to take a Breathalyzer test. If they believe you are driving while under the influence of drugs, they may require a blood or urine test.

You have the right to refuse their request. But, remember that you’ve already essentially given your consent to taking a breath, urine or blood test when the state of New Hampshire issued your driver’s license. In New Hampshire, driving is a privilege, not a right. And the state can take away your right to drive.

That’s exactly what happens if you refuse the test. Your driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days. The penalty can go up if you are a repeat offender.

You will certainly want to seek the advice of a DWI or DUI lawyer in New Hampshire if you find yourself in a situation similar to Cowette.

If you are found guilty of driving under the influence in New Hampshire, a judge may send you to prison. But more likely, you’ll be ordered into a treatment program. In New Hampshire, this is called the Impaired Driver Care Management program.

Here, you’ll 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.

The state of New Hampshire takes drunk or impaired driving seriously. And so should you. Please take the time to consult with a New Hampshire DWI attorney.

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