New Hampshire DUI Laws

New Hampshire DWI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Those under 21 cannot exceed 0.02%.
Written by Georgina Grant
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Dec 05, 2022
New Hampshire DWI laws (also known as DUI laws) state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Those under 21 cannot exceed 0.02%.
In the U.S., more than 10,000 people are killed on the road every year due to drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime, and penalties will vary by state. Even for a first-time offense, drivers will shell out up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will definitely affect your
New Hampshire car insurance costs
as well.
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What is a DWI?

A DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired, while a DUI refers to driving under the influence. Each state determines the difference between these two charges, but New Hampshire uses the term "DWI" for these laws.
In some states, the charges are OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

DWI in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, it is illegal to drive or even attempt to operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of a substance that hinders your ability to drive. This refers to both natural and synthetic substances, including:
  • Alcohol
  • Controlled substances
  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter drugs.
It is also illegal to drive or attempt to drive if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of:
  • 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older
  • 0.04% or higher if you have a commercial driver’s license
  • 0.03% or higher if you have a probationary driver’s license
  • 0.02% or higher if you’re under 21
When you are found to be driving while intoxicated or impaired, your charge could be upgraded from a DWI to an aggravated DWI:
  • if you’re driving more than 30mph over the speed limit
  • if you’re at fault for an accident with serious injuries
  • if you try to evade law enforcement officers
  • if you have a passenger in the car who is under 16 years old
  • if your BAC is 0.16% or higher
With an aggravated DWI, your penalties will be harsher.
New Hampshire, like every state, has an implied consent law, which specifies that drivers consent to be tested if they are suspected of driving while intoxicated or impaired.
If you are lawfully arrested for a DWI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. If you refuse, the DMV will revoke your license for six months. If you have been convicted of a DWI or refused a test in the past, your license will be revoked for two years.

Penalties for a DWI in New Hampshire

If you are convicted of a DWI in New Hampshire, your penalty will be determined based on how many prior DWIs are on your record and whether or not it’s an aggravated DWI.
Convictions in New Hampshire will remain on your driving record for 10 years.

First offense

Penalty
Description
Fine
$500 to $1,200
Jail
None
License suspension
9 months to 2 years
Vehicle impoundment
No
SR-22 requirement
Yes

Second offense

Penalty
Description
Fine
$750 to $2,000
Jail
17 days to 1 year
License suspension
3 years
Vehicle impoundment
No
SR-22 requirement
Yes

Third offense

Penalty
Description
Fine
$750 to $2,000
Jail
6 months to 1 year
License suspension
Indefinitely
Vehicle impoundment
No
SR-22 requirement
Yes
Sometimes, a judge will suspend a portion of your jail sentence and put you on probation instead for up to two years. You will have to be evaluated and then complete a substance abuse treatment program during this time.

Aggravated DWI

An aggravated DWI is considered a class A misdemeanor and results in the following penalties:
Penalty
Description
Fine
$750 to $2,000
Jail
Up to 1 year
License suspension
18 months to 2 years
An aggravated DWI involving serious injuries is considered a class B felony and results in the following penalties:
Penalty
Description
Fine
$1,000 to $4,000
Jail
2 weeks to 7 years
License suspension
18 months to 2 years
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Does a DWI impact car insurance in New Hampshire?

Yes. Insurance companies take DUI and DWI convictions very seriously, and you’ll be classified as an
high-risk driver
going forward. This means that your auto insurance rates will increase.
It can be hard to find affordable insurance with a DWI on your record, so you’ll probably need to look at a number of different providers in order to find the right policy.
Jerry
can quickly compare rates from up to 50 top insurers so that you don’t have to spend time completing online forms and dealing with sales calls.
Additionally, your insurance company will have to
submit an SR-22 filing
on your behalf in order to certify that you meet the
minimum car insurance required in your state
.

Other effects of a DWI

Besides conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DWIs can impact your life in other ways.
License revocation: After getting a DWI, you will have your license revoked for at least nine months. This timeline will be extended if you have prior DWIs on your record or if you’re convicted of an aggravated DWI.
Ignition interlock device (IID): These devices stop you from starting your car if you have any alcohol on your breath. You might be required to install one on your vehicle, especially if you are convicted of an aggravated DWI or if you are under 21 years old.
Background checks: DWIs appear on background checks, which could hurt your job prospects in the future.

How to find cheap insurance after a DWI

If you want to save money on car insurance, the
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