Just as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a DWI Detection Process for motor vehicles, they have also created specific guidelines in the “Detection of DWI Motorcyclists.” The creation of this guide came in response to law enforcement officers believing it to be impossible to distinguish between impaired and unimpaired motorcyclists. NHSTA researchers analyzed over 1000 motorcyclist DWI arrest reports and interviewed law enforcement personnel in order to compile a list of 100 cues that had already been used by officers in the identification of impaired motorcyclists.
The NHTSA conducted two field studies on 50 different sites throughout the United States and the compilation of the results allowed researchers to highlight the most effective cues available and as a result produced the “Motorcycle DWI Detection” Guide. Out of the 100 cues compiled by NHTSA, 14 cues have a higher probability to discriminate between impaired or unimpaired motorcycle operation.
These cues have been classified as “excellent,” which are cues that typically exhibit a 50% or higher probability that the motorcyclist is driving while impaired and “good,” cues showing a 30 to 50% probability that a motorcyclist such cues will be found to be driving while impaired. The motorcycle DWI detection cues are as follows:
- Drifting during turn or curve
- Trouble with dismount
- Trouble with balance at a stop
- Turning problems (e.g., unsteady, sudden corrections, late braking, improper lean angle)
- Inattentive to surroundings
- Inappropriate or unusual behavior (e.g., carrying or dropping object, urinating at roadside, disorderly conduct, etc.)
- Erratic movements while going straight
- Operating without lights at night
- Following too closely
- Running stop light or sign
- Wrong way
Motorcycle DWI in New Hampshire
New Hampshire law enforcement officers are trained to use the DWI detection process developed by NHTSA. Motorcycle DWI detection will still typically begin with phase one—vehicle in motion; only, as highlighted above, the twenty-four (24) cues delineated in phase one have been narrowed to fourteen (14) cues specific to the likelihood that a motorcyclist is driving under the influence.
In New Hampshire, for a first-time offender, the penalties of operating a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol, if convicted, may result in a class B misdemeanor and a fine of no less than $500. In addition, an offender will be referred by the court to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP) where they will be required to submit to an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of the conviction.
A trip to the department of health and human services will be required as well where the offender must complete an impaired driver education program before restoration of the driver’s license is possible. All fees for the respective programs, of course, are incurred by the offending driver.
If you have been arrested for a motorcycle DWI/DUI in New Hampshire, the defense lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. are here to help. The attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. are extensively experienced at DWI defense and can help with the specialized knowledge of motorcycle DWIs. Our New Hampshire DWI defense lawyers will build a strong defense on your behalf and will protect your rights to the fullest. Contact Tenn And Tenn, P.A. today.