DUI Laws in New Hampshire

Some important facts about DUI in New Hampshire.

In New Hampshire, you can get a DUI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired.

(Take a look at our BAC chart for an estimate of how many drinks it takes to get to the legal limit.)

And the law in New Hampshire says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in New Hampshire and other details about New Hampshire DUI law.

In New Hampshire, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in New Hampshire, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

180-day license suspension

2-year license suspension

2-year license suspension

In New Hampshire, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In New Hampshire, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%. Additionally, there is a penalty of a 1-year license suspension.

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in New Hampshire?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in New Hampshire, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum required jail term

If second offense is within 2 years of first offense: 37 days jail If second offense is within 10 years of first offense: 10 days jail

180 days jail

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 10 years.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, it’s possible for someone who’s accused of driving under the influence to “plea bargain” for a lesser charge. When a DUI is plea bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”

(Read more about plea bargaining in New Hampshire DUI cases and the consequences of a reckless driving conviction.)

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in New Hampshire?

Yes, an ignition interlock device (IID) is required to be installed on any vehicle driven by the defendant during the period of license revocation, for second offenses and all other subsequent offenses as well as for aggravated DUI offenses (BAC of .16% or higher).

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in New Hampshire?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of New Hampshire DUI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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