Driving while on drugs or under the influence of alcohol is illegal. These offenses are referred to under a number of different names:
- DWI (driving while intoxicated)
- DUI (driving under the influence)
- OUI (operating while intoxicated)
Regardless of what you call it, you’ll be charged with a crime if you’re driving while impaired. In the state of New Hampshire, being charged with a DWI/DUI/OUI is serious and you could lose your driver’s license, pay large fines, and even serve jail time. That’s why fighting DWI charges by working with a DUI attorney in New Hampshire is so important.
Important News: Intoxilyzer Recertification Exam Mistakes
Please read this blog post from Attorney John Durkin regarding New Hampshire Intoxilyzer Recertification Exam mistakes that have the potential to impact many criminal convictions for DWI or administrative license suspensions in New Hampshire.
In the state of New Hampshire, you may be charged with driving under the influence or alcohol or drugs if you have a BAC (blood alcohol content) above the legal limit of .08. If you’re under age 21, you may be charged if you have a BAC of .02 (or, essentially, any alcohol in your blood stream at all) because the drinking age is 21.
If you have illegal or legal drugs in your system or are otherwise impaired, you can also be charged with a DUI in the state of New Hampshire.
The consequences of DUI charges depend on how high your blood alcohol content is at the time of your arrest, as well as whether you’ve ever been convicted of driving under the influence or of similar offenses.
If you have a very high BAC, you may face a longer jail sentence as well as larger fines; and if you have previous convictions you’ll also face harsher penalties. Finally, certain other factors, such as driving drunk with a child in the car, can also result in you facing a more serious penalty.
Penalties for misdemeanor DUI include possible jail time and fines, plus potentially the following:
- Loss of your driver’s license
- A permanent criminal record
- Very high insurance rates
- Community service
- Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling
DUI is generally a misdemeanor, but for repeat offenders or those with aggravating factors, it can rise to the level of a felony under certain circumstances, which can mean more than a year in jail.
Getting Help for DWI/DUI/OUI Charges
Being charged with a DWI/DUI/OUI is a serious matter, so you need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to fight the DWI charges against you. The knowledgeable New Hampshire DUI attorneys at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin have represented many clients facing DUI charges and we will explain all of your options, including:
- Defending yourself against the charges using various defenses, such as a rising BAC defense (your BAC keeps going up after you are no longer drinking, so your BAC may have been within legal limits at the time when you were driving even if it was above legal limits when you were subsequently tested).
- Introducing reasonable doubt as to your guilt. You might be able to do this by suggesting that the breathalyzer malfunctioned, for example, or had not been properly calibrated.
- Keeping evidence out of court so the prosecutor can’t prove your guilt. You may be able to do this by arguing that your constitutional rights were violated by an illegal search or seizure and that the evidence obtained therein can’t be used against you. Since the prosecutor has the burden of proving you are guilty of the charges, they can’t win without the evidence and you could end up having the charges dropped or being acquitted.
If these options aren’t available or appropriate, our DUI/DWI/OUI attorneys in New Hampshire can also assist you in negotiating a plea deal for lesser penalties or less serious charges, or we may be able to help you enter into first-time offender programs so you don’t end up with a permanent criminal record because of one simple mistake.
To learn more about the types of the legal services we can provide when you are facing DUI/DWI/OUI charges, contact Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin today at 603-742-2332 or use the form to the right to get in touch with us.