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What’s the Difference Between Buzzed Driving and DWI?

Young male drinking a beer while driving

“Buzzed” is a light-hearted term many people use to indicate that they’re feeling mild, pleasant effects of drinking alcohol. Most people associate it with the very early stages of intoxication, but not drunkenness. In the eyes of the law, however, buzzed driving is the same as drunk driving. If you get behind the wheel while buzzed, you could find yourself slapped with a DWI.

What constitutes a DWI in New Hampshire?

Under New Hampshire law, a driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher is driving while intoxicated or impaired. In addition, if a driver is actually driving impaired by a natural or synthetic substance, the police can charge them with DWI, regardless of their BAC level. Arguing that you’re “only buzzed” is no defense. If alcohol has affected your senses, you should not be behind the wheel of the car.

What are the basic penalties for a DWI in New Hampshire?

DWI has severe consequences in New Hampshire, particularly if you are under 21 or it is not your first offense.

  • First offense: A first offense is a class B misdemeanor that elicits fines from $500 to $1,200. Your driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 9 months, but the court may choose to extend it for up to two years. You’ll also be required to complete a 20-hour Impaired Driver Intervention Program and may have to participate in counseling or an alcohol treatment program. If you are under 21 years old and have a BAC over the legal limit, the court will likely revoke your license for a full year and compel you to attend an alcohol treatment program.
  • Second offense: With a second DWI conviction, your license will be suspended for three years. You will also face up to $2,000 in fees and may receive a jail sentence ranging from 17 days to one year.
  • Third offense: Upon a third DWI conviction, your license may be permanently revoked. You may also be jailed for 180 days to 1 year and face up to $2,000 in fees.

Experienced DWI Attorney in New Hampshire

A DWI conviction can immensely impact your life, employment, and future. You need to work with skilled defense attorneys who can help you mitigate the potential damage, prepare a robust defense, and obtain the best possible outcome. If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, our experienced New Hampshire DWI defense attorneys can help. Contact Tenn And Tenn, P.A., to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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