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Motorcycles are a true representation of freedom on the road. With the motorcycles rise in popularity has also come the rise in the number of motorcycle accidents. Accidents can be caused by hazardous road conditions, impaired driving, or negligent drivers. It is essential that motorcyclists understand their risks and rights before hitting the road.motorcyclecrash_001-300x196

Motorcycle Road Safety in New Hampshire

Earlier this year, the state of New Hampshire released the “New Hampshire Highway Safety Plan” in fulfillment of section 402 grant requirements of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In this plan, the state presented detailed statistics about New Hampshire motorcycle fatalities between the years of 2012-2016. They were broken by several different factors.

Unhelmeted Motorcycle Fatalities

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While riding a motorcycle may be one of the most invigorating feelings, it is imperative that motorcyclists practice the utmost safety while driving, as there are a myriad of safety hazards that can surprise even the most experienced motorcyclist.Motorcycle-500x334-300x200

Hazardous Roadway Characteristics

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a statement concerning roadway characteristics which pose a hazard to motorcyclists. The following are listed in the MSF and NHTSA statement:

  • Excessively high pavement ridges;
  • Potholes;
  • Slick materials used to repair cracks and other road surface blemishes;
  • Fluid spills;
  • Roadway debris;
  • Metal roadway surfaces;
  • Roadside barriers; and
  • Work-zone signage practices.

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Being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New Hampshire can have many steep potential penalties. Perhaps higher penalties than the accused DWI driver ever expected. Like any criminal charge, the penalties will speak to the severity of the situation, a regular DWI charge will, of course, be a lesser charge than an Aggravated DWI especially if one or more children under the age of 16 are present in the vehicle when arrested. If you also have the unfortunate circumstance to be going through a custody battle at the time of your arrest your chances at obtaining custody may diminish.DWI-with-child-300x150

Aggravated DWI in New Hampshire

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Riding a motorcycle down the open road can be invigorating. However, there are risks that come with riding a motorcycle and sharing the road with other vehicles. Dangerous road conditions and negligent drivers are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in New Hampshire. In February 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the 2016 data on “Traffic Safety Facts” for Motorcycles. Some of the key findings about motorcycles on the road in 2016 are as follows:

  • There were 5,286 motorcyclist fatalities in 2016, a 5.1% increase from 2015;
  • Fatalities for motorcycle riders was nearly 28 times higher than passenger vehicle fatalities based on miles traveled;
  • 57% of motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas; and
  • 97% of motorcycle fatalities occurred under cloudy or clear conditions.statutelimitations3c6-2a2d22b30d9a-300x180

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Motorcycle Accident in New Hampshire

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Hudson law enforcement say that a Nashua, New Hampshire man has been arrested for drunk driving charges after he rear-ended another vehicle at a high rate of speed. Police were called to Lowell Road, in Hudson, around 5:30 p.m. in response to a two-car accident. A 2018 Toyota Camry rear-ended a 2018 Subaru Impreza as it was traveling as it was heading north on Lowell Road at a high rate of speed.dwi-arrest-300x225

Both the driver and the passenger in the Subaru were transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital to treat minor injuries. The driver of the Toyota was arrested at the scene for driving while intoxicated.

Driving While Intoxicated in New Hampshire

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Some of the dangers involved with riding a motorcycle may be clearer than others. Motorcyclists should, of course, be ever vigilant but they are unable to control every factor they may face while driving. Dangerous road conditions can creep up on a motorcycle driver in no time and it is an important part of motorcycle safety to review what types of hazardous roadways may be lurking. bad-road-300x226

Hazardous Roadways in New Hampshire

Some of the most dangerous roads in New Hampshire cannot be avoided or controlled by motorcyclists. Often, roadways that become hazardous to motorcyclists may be due to construction, neglect to upkeep roadways causing potholes, and even inclement weather can turn a roadway dangerous. The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles motorcycle safety training utilizes the Motorcycle Safety Foundation “Motorcycle Operator Manual” for New Hampshire motorcycle training courses. The manual outlines some of the most prominent dangerous roadway conditions for motorcycle operators.

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A woman driving on Route 9, near Nelson, New Hampshire, was involved in a head-on collision that resulted in the serious injury of two people traveling in the vehicle she struck. New Hampshire State Police say that the woman was driving east on Route 9, under the influence of alcohol and using an electronic mobile device, when the accident occurred. She was charged with Aggravated DWI and vehicular assault. https://www.nhlegalblog.com/files/2018/10/aggdui.image_-300x169.jpg

Aggravated DWI in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, a person is guilty of “Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated” if a person drives, operates, or attempts to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or any substance that impairs the person’s ability to drive, or has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more and at the time alleged:

  • “Drives or operates at a speed more than 30 miles per hour in excess of the speed limit;
  • Causes a motor vehicle, boating, or OHRV collision resulting in serious bodily injury to the person or another;
  • Attempts to elude pursuit by a law enforcement officer by increasing speed, extinguishing headlamps or, in the case of a boat, navigational lamps while still in motion, or abandoning a vehicle, boat, or OHRV while being pursued; or
  • Carries as a passenger a person under the age of 16.”

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A jury convicted a Manchester, New Hampshire man of drug trafficking this week. Police came to the man’s house after he was shot during a home invasion. When police asked to search the premises, the man refused. Police obtained a search warrant and found 5.5 ounces of crack cocaine, as well as $600 cash in a safe within the home.

The man represented himself in court, remarking in his opening statement to the jury that the police would not be able to prove that he possessed any drugs. Ultimately, that same jury convicted the man on the charge of trafficking crack cocaine. Due to the fact that he has prior possession charges, the man could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.drug1

Drug Possession in New Hampshire

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Just as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a DWI Detection Process for motor vehicles, they have also created specific guidelines in the “Detection of DWI Motorcyclists.” The creation of this guide came in response to law enforcement officers believing it to be impossible to distinguish between impaired and unimpaired motorcyclists. NHSTA researchers analyzed over 1000 motorcyclist DWI arrest reports and interviewed law enforcement personnel in order to compile a list of 100 cues that had already been used by officers in the identification of impaired motorcyclists.motorcycle-dui-e-300x200

The NHTSA conducted two field studies on 50 different sites throughout the United States and the compilation of the results allowed researchers to highlight the most effective cues available and as a result produced the “Motorcycle DWI Detection” Guide. Out of the 100 cues compiled by NHTSA, 14 cues have a higher probability to discriminate between impaired or unimpaired motorcycle operation.

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DWI/DUI detection procedures are set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and documented in the NHTSA “DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST)” Participant Manual. When talking about a DWI/DUI in New Hampshire, the acronym DWI means “driving while impaired” and is synonymous with DUI, “driving under the influence.”

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