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.
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.
Driving While Intoxicated in New Hampshire
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.
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.”
It has been a difficult year for former police officer Daniel Crevier, who now resides in New Hampshire. Formerly with the North Andover Police Department, Crevier was accused of crashing an unmarked police cruiser while in Pennsylvania. He received three different DUI-related charges in the state. It appears Crevier will not go to trial. His case was accepted for a program unique to Pennsylvania – Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) — a pre-trial intervention program for non-violent offenders with little or no prior record.
After the September 2016 DUI incident, his case spent more than a year in Pennsylvania courts being adjudicated. He had been in Pennsylvania for a training seminar and went for a drink with a fellow officer from his department. He was accused of crashing the cruiser “into a construction vehicle parked away from the main roadway and left the scene without notifying local police.” According to police reports, he registered a .219 BAC. Despite these factors, which could have meant harsher sentencing if the prosecution prevailed, Crevier was approved for the innovative ARD program, “provided he consume no alcoholic beverages, pay fines associated with his case — assessed at $2,361.80 — and complete an alcohol safe driving course.” Continue reading →
The short answer is yes. In fact, one such case took place in New Hampshire recently. But before exploring the particulars of this case, we can explore the ways in which speed and other traffic violations can result in DUI charges and why.
Traffic Stops & DUIs
Simply put, reasonable suspicion of criminal activity gives way to DUI charges. The police need a reason to pull you over. When you speed, run a red light, drive with a broken tail light, or make an illegal turn, for example, you are all but inviting a police officer to pull you over. If your behavior creates suspicion that you are driving under the influence, regardless of whether or not that suspicion is entirely justified, then the officer may ask you if you have been drinking or ask you to complete field sobriety tests.
The Controversy of DWI Checkpoints
Sobriety checkpoints are the bane of many drivers. While a given checkpoint may result in a handful of DWI arrests, if any, it is largely regarded as a nuisance that takes time out of the evenings of sober, often embittered drivers. Debates have arisen over the legality of citizens forewarning each other about checkpoints, with the general consensus being that it is not illegal to post information about the location of a checkpoint or warn fellow drivers.
Arguably, the public perceives drunk driving charges as something that only happens to irresponsible individuals or alcoholics. In reality, the majority of people charged with DWI hardly correspond to a generally conceived ‘archetype’ of ‘the type of person that gets charged with drunk driving.’ This charge can befall anyone: hard working business professionals, loving parents, the elderly and more. The latter in part is why at Tenn And Tenn, P.A., we understand why so many clients find it difficult to reconcile the idea that they’ve become ‘the type’ of person to get a DWI. We also know that for most of our clients, this moniker does not correspond with their personal image. The same may be said for a New Hampshire county attorney, who was recently charged with driving while intoxicated.
The Holiday Season: A Dangerous Time on American Roadways
The holidays bring with them a mood of merriment and leisure, as we begin to wind down and collect ourselves from a hectic year. Loved ones rejoin their families, eggnog and other libations flow freely, airports and highways seem to bust at the seams with swells of determined travelers. However, there are at least a few unfortunate side effects that occur when we combine these factors. The uptick in parties and festivities, accompanied by the increase in air and ground traffic, mean that our roadways become considerably more dangerous this time of year. Although the hazard of drinking and driving is prevalent on many other holidays (St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day), the relative concentration of holidays makes for a particularly dangerous stretch, beginning Thanksgiving weekend and ending New Years Day. This state of affairs often puts law enforcement on edge, with local news outlets around the country usually reporting that DUI patrols in their area are set to increase over the holiday season.
Holiday Drunk Driving Trends
New Hampshire, like all other states in the U.S., has an implied consent law that levies automatic penalties whenever someone refuses to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. In a 2005 survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had found that police requests for people suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) were refused at an astounding rate in New Hampshire. Updated statistics, however, show that New Hampshire’s refusal rate is on the decline, and is no longer top in the nation.
Study Finds New Hampshire No Longer Refuses BAC Tests the Most
Back in 2005, the NHTSA wrote a report to Congress, detailing the number of times that BAC tests were refused by drunk driving suspects on a state-by-state basis. Among the 37 states that provided data on the issue, the national average refusal rate was less than a quarter – 22.4%. New Hampshire’s refusal rate, however, was far higher than any other state recorded, coming in at a surprising 81%. The state with the second highest refusal rate, Massachusetts, was only 41%, with Florida in third, at 40%.
A surprising face appeared in Iowa court as a witness earlier this month in the case of Cheryl Bronson. Bronson was the victim of a drunk driving accident and has suffered a number of injuries. Bronson also happens to be the aunt of Olympic gymnast and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ champion Shawn Johnson, who appeared in court as a witness for the plaintiff, her aunt.
Bronson was once a golfer, and an Iowa Women’s pool champion in 2008, and due to her injuries is no longer able to participate in either of those activities. The incident caused her to suffer multiple fractures to her leg and although she has healed, she has had significant changes in her life. Bronson must now walk with a limp, has trouble walking, and has even had to move to a single story home. In addition to this, Bronson has 3 more surgeries planned for her injured leg in the future.