Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) carries heavy penalties in New Hampshire. When an accident involving injury occurs, however, a conviction or court case related to those injuries can make the burden of a New Hampshire drunk driving conviction even more onerous. However, New Hampshire law extends liability for drunk-driving-related accidents to those who serve alcohol as well.
These laws, known as “dram shop laws,” allow a New Hampshire resident who is injured in a drunk driving accident to seek compensation from the establishment that provided the drinks. This includes those who are convicted of drunk driving after an accident that causes injury and/or property damages. Under New Hampshire law, bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol are expected to pay attention to those to whom they are serving alcohol. If the patron appears to be intoxicated, the establishment is required to stop serving, or to refuse to serve, that person.
This cutoff requirement protects New Hampshire bar- and restaurant-goers from the dangers of too much drinking, and allows them a valuable stretch of time to recover their senses so they can drive home safely. The dram shop law helps enforce this responsibility by allowing injured persons, including those accused or convicted of drunk driving, to sue alcohol providers.