NH DWI Laws Change for 2013
For 2013, the New Hampshire Legislature has made significant changes to the DWI laws. The NH DWI Lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. have highlighted the major changes below. Effective January 1, 2013, the penalties for anyone convicted of a NH DWI are significantly more severe than in the past. Broad modification to the Alcohol and Drug treatment requirements will cost individuals more time and money before their NH license will be restored. For the New Year, the Legislature has enacted harsher laws that will have major implications for anyone convicted of a NH DWI. If you have been arrested for DWI, please contact the experienced Manchester, NH DWI Attorneys today to review your legal options.
1. Arraignments Within 14 Days of Arrest
To the extent possible, arraignments should be held within 14 days of the date of the violation. By requiring an expedited hearing, many individuals charged with DWI will appear in Court without having the benefit of consulting with a NH DUI Attorney. We anticipate that some prosecutors will seize this opportunity to press individuals into a quick plea to a DWI. Unfortunately, the State prosecutor is not required to review with the citizen charged with DUI all of the potential and harmful collateral consequences of pleading guilty. Our NH DUI attorneys do not recommend attending any hearing on a NH DUI charge without first consulting one of our experienced DWI lawyers.
2. DWI – Drug Conviction Premised Upon Any Substance, Not Just Controlled Substances
Legislative changes for 2013 make it a crime to operate a motor vehicle while “under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug, prescription drug, over-the-counter drug, or any other chemical substance, natural or synthetic, which impairs a person’s ability to drive.” Prior to January 1, 2013, to be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs, the State of NH had to prove that a “controlled substance” caused the “impairment.” However, many drugs were not defined as “controlled substances” and as such, a conviction could not result. The Legislature has attempted to close this so-call “loophole” with these broad based changes to the DWI Statute to include any chemical substance which impairs a persons’ ability to drive. As a Nation that regularly uses prescription medication, we may now be facing criminal prosecution for the anxiety, depression and/or cold medicines we need. Remember, a New Hampshire DWI conviction only requires the State to prove impairment to any degree.
3. Increased Penalties for Aggravated DWI and Subsequent DWI Offenses
In 2013, a conviction for Aggravated DWI now requires not less than 17 consecutive days in jail with 12 days suspended pending completion of the IDCMP. The prior version of this law mandated only 3 days in jail. Likewise, subsequent DWI convictions can result in longer periods of incarceration.
4. NH’s Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP)
Prior to 2013, if you were convicted of a DWI in NH, you would be required to complete one of three programs before your license would be restored: A 20 hour Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP) for a first offense, a 7 day Multiple Offender Program (MOP) for an Aggravated DWI or second offense, and a 28 day Residential Program for a third offense or more.
Any post January 1, 2013 DWI conviction will require the attendance and completion of the IDCMP program (Impaired Driver Care Management Program). If you have not completed the IDIP within the last 5 years, you still have to do that. The IDCMP requires an intake screening within 14 days of the date of conviction (this will cost you around $100). If at the program you are deemed a “high risk” to reoffend, you will be required to participate in a full substance use disorder evaluation. Thereafter, expect to participate in a Service Plan, at your cost, before your license will be restored. If you enroll in the IDCMP within 14 days and complete the substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days, then the state can reduce your license loss by 6 months. Bottom Line: anyone convicted of a NH DWI in 2013 will face multiple Alcohol and Drug screenings and evaluations, and will spend more time and money satisfying the IDCMP requirements before being able to have their driver’s license restored.
5. Ignition Interlock Device For Any DWI
Prior to 2013, NH only required Ignition Interlock Devices for drivers convicted of an Aggravated or Subsequent DWI. The Judge retained discretion to order them in any DWI. However, starting January 1, 2013, The NH DMV has the authority granted by Legislature to require an Ignition Interlock Device for any DWI conviction.
The NH DWI Attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A.
Be safe in 2013- – don’t drink and drive. A NH DWI carries significant penalties. If you have been charged with DWI, hire the experienced DWI Lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. to protect your rights. Call us today at 603-624-3700 for a free DWI consultation to discuss your options.
Tenn And Tenn, P.A. maintains a statewide criminal defense practice and represents individuals in all NH Courts including: Brentwood District Court, Candia District Court, Claremont District Court, Concord District Court, Conway District Court, Derry District Court, Dover District Court, Goffstown District Court, Hillsborough District Court, Hooksett District Court, Jaffrey District Court, Keene District Court, Laconia District Court, Lebanon District Court, Manchester District Court, Merrimack District Court, Milford District Court, Nashua District Court, Newport District Court, Ossipee District Court, Plaistow District Court, Plymouth District Court, Portsmouth District Court, Rochester District Court, Salem District Court and Seabrook District Court.