An individual convicted of a DWI in New Hampshire faces a range of potential consequences, from thousand-dollar fines to lengthy jail sentences. However, while the terms of each penalty vary depending on the specifics of the offense, New Hampshire law requires that every person convicted of an impaired driving offense participate in a state-sanctioned Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP).
The IDCMP screens and evaluates offending drivers to assess whether that person has a substance use disorder, provides drug and alcohol education, and helps participants abusers find treatment, if necessary. All offending drivers must complete the program before their driving privileges are reinstated.
Facing a DWI conviction and all its potential repercussions is a frightening experience. Having experienced New Hampshire DWI lawyers at your side is essential. The skilled lawyers of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. are ready to discuss your options and help you fight for the most favorable outcome, including pushing to have the charges dropped and thereby avoiding the IDCMP requirement. Contact us today at 888-332-5855 or contact us online today for a free consultation. We represent people throughout the state, from Manchester to Bedford to Concord.
What is a DWI in New Hampshire?
Under New Hampshire law, a driver may be convicted of DWI (also called a “DUI”) if the state proves they were operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher or they were impaired by alcohol or drugs, regardless of the BAC level. Commercial drivers and drivers under age 21 can be convicted with a BAC level of 0.02 percent or higher. A person with a BAC level of .16 percent or higher can be convicted of Aggravated DWI, which brings much stiffer penalties.
If convicted, your license will be revoked for a period determined according to the nature of the offense and whether you have a prior offense. A revocation may last from 9 months to a lifetime ban. Once convicted, you must register for an IDCMP within the requisite deadlines.
A first-time offender has 14 days from the conviction to complete intake and screening with one of New Hampshire’s eight approved IDCMP programs. Individuals who meet this 14-day deadline usually receive a 6-month reduction in the license revocation requirements. As first offenders generally receive a 9-month revocation, completing the intake and screening in a timely manner means you’d reduce the revocation period to three months.
If this is your second or subsequent offense, or you were convicted of an aggravated impaired driving offense, you will have a mandatory 5-day stay at the County House of Correction, at a minimum. Once you have served your sentence, you have 30 days to schedule the IDCMP screening and 60 days to complete it. Note that the state will suspend a certain portion of your jail time if you complete the intake and screening, but if you don’t participate, the suspended time will be reinstated.
IDCMP Intake and Screening
During intake and screening, an authorized IDCMP center representative will conduct a one-hour evaluation and review data to determine whether you are likely to have a substance use disorder. If the representative classifies you as “positive” for a disorder, you must undergo a more thorough substance abuse disorder evaluation within 30 days of conviction. Should that second evaluation also result in a positive, the IDCMP will create a treatment and education plan for you and direct you toward recovery support services.
If your initial screening is negative–meaning you haven’t been determined to have a substance abuse disorder–you must complete an Impaired Driver Education Program (IDEP) or a Weekend Impaired Driver Education Program (WIDIP). Both programs require 20 hours of alcohol and drug education classes, plus a one-hour intake interview and a one-hour exit interview. The only difference between these programs is that the WIDIP takes place over a single weekend, while the IDIP classes occur on weekday nights or full-day sessions on consecutive Saturdays or Sundays.
Every person participating in the IDCMP or related programs must pay the requisite fees, which can be significant. You must also attend the full 22 hours of the program and meet any other obligation, such as submitting to random drug testing. Failure to complete the program could result in a delay in the reinstatement of your driver’s license.
An Experienced New Hampshire DWI Lawyer Can Help
A DWI conviction can have wide-ranging effects on your life. It can impact your family, job, finances, and liberty. If you have been convicted of DWI, ensure you have a New Hampshire lawyer with substantial experience defending clients charged with impaired driving offenses to stand in your corner.
Tenn And Tenn, P.A. has represented drivers arrested for or convicted of DWI throughout New Hampshire, including Hampton, Goffstown, and Londonderry. We know the high stakes of your situation and the potential consequences you face. We’ll help you understand your rights, options, and obligations, including the Impaired Driver Care Management Program. Contact us today at 888-332-5855 or online for your free evaluation. We are ready to help you reclaim your life.