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How Much Alcohol Is Enough To Convict Someone of DWI In New Hampshire?


Interviewer: What are the limits where you are considered DWI in New Hampshire?

David: .08 is the law prima facie. There is enough evidence to convict someone of DWI if the government can prove .08 or more. For people under age 21, the legal limit is .02. That literally would be just one beer for some high school kid.

Interviewer: Is there any law if an adult blows below a .08, such as a .06, .07 or .05?

David: I actually have a trial coming up where the state police thought my guy was really obnoxious and drunk. He blew a .07 after they arrested him for DWI. When he blew that .07, they decided to put him into the system as a DWI anyways.

Technically, the statute prohibits people from driving under the influence. I guess the troopers in the upcoming case are going to testify that my guy was, in their opinion, under the influence even though the .07 is less than prima facie.

In terms of your direct question, if it were .03 or smaller that would be a prima facie not guilty. However, there is no such standard as to a .05 or a .06 being something that is automatically not guilty.

Interviewer: Are people really still charged with DWI even if they are below .08?

David: I have seen that happen. I remember trying a case in front of a brand new judge. A client got arrested for DWI; arguably failed the police officer’s test and got arrested. The agency drew blood so they did not have the number immediately.

However, when his blood came back .06, they decided to test their new judge. They decided to see if the new judge would buy that .06 is impaired and enough evidence to convict someone of DWI. Thank goodness the judge decided it is not.