1.5 million drivers are arrested annually for DWI/DUI. In 2016 alone over 4,000 New Hampshire operators were arrested for impaired driving. It is never advisable to operate a vehicle or watercraft if you have consumed alcohol, drugs or medications that may impair judgment. Instead, assign a designated driver, call a friend, or call a cab or Uber.
However, if you should be stopped by a police officer for suspicion of impairment, consider these tips:
- Be respectful and cooperative, remaining calm and composed throughout the interaction with the officer.
- Know your rights – you can refuse testing, including roadside sobriety tests.
- Do not incriminate yourself – the less you say, the better.
- Make sure any instructions are clearly explained and that you understand them fully.
- If you are arrested, call a lawyer ASAP.
In NH, a conviction does not require evidence that you were “drunk,” only that you were (1) operating or had control over a vehicle; (2) on a road or parking lot generally open to the public; and (3) impaired to any degree. Significant penalties, including fines and loss of license, result from a first offense conviction. Separate from the criminal penalties, your license will be administratively suspended for at least six months if you refused to submit a blood or breath test or if your results yielded a .08 blood alcohol level or higher, as long as the officer had reasonable grounds for the request.
A DUI arrest is stressful. An experienced lawyer will talk you through the process, review the evidence against you, assess any potential evidence that you may offer to undermine the State’s evidence against you, and inform you of the penalties.
Attorneys Allison Ambrose and Kathrine Lacey are skilled in DWI defense and are pleased to offer free consultations. If you are charged with DWI, they will advocate for your best interests to minimize penalties or have the charges reduced/dropped, as the evidence allows.