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First offense DUI in New Hampshire

Many DUI laws across the United States apply no matter what state you are in. While state law determines the course of most DUI cases, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is defined in the same way almost everywhere.

This also applies to the processes following your arrest. In every state, a first offense DUI will bring fees, a license suspension and other forms of punishment. Subsequent DUI charges almost always come with harsher penalties. Here is what you can expect following a first offense DUI arrest and conviction in New Hampshire.

Civil and criminal charges
Like most states, New Hampshire looks at a DUI arrest in two ways. In criminal court, you will be charged with the criminal act of driving under the influence of alcohol and will face fines of between $350 and $1,000, a license suspension from between 90 says and 2 years and other sentencing requirements like mandatory attendance of alcohol awareness classes or community service.

The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will handle the civil end of your charges. You will face license suspension and will have to file an SR-22 form in order to maintain insurance coverage. To request a conditional work license, schedule a hearing with the DMV no more than seven days after your DUI citation.

Blood alcohol content
New Hampshire categorizes DUI charges in a few different ways based on your blood alcohol content. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, the state's per se law is activated, and you are automatically considered over the limit as long as you have been lawfully evaluated.

If your BAC is under .08, the legal limit in all states for most motorists, you can still be arrested for a DUI if the officers determine that you are too impaired to drive. If your driving speed is inconsistent, for example, officers may arrest you even if you have a BAC of .04.

If your BAC is between .08 and .159, you are automatically over the legal limit and will face a DUI charge.

If your BAC is .16 or over, you will face an aggravated DUI charge, which will likely carry stiffer fines and penalties than a standard DUI.

The best way to avoid getting a DUI is to never drink and drive. While it is good to be aware of the legal limitations, planning ahead and designating a driver or taking cabs or public transportation is the best way to stay safe when you're drinking.