Take Care on St. Paddy’s Day!
As March 17 approaches, people prepare to head out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with their friends and family. They gear up to drink the tasty green ale that numerous pubs serve around the country, without ever giving a thought as to what might come later on that evening. For those who aren’t aware of what St. Patrick’s Day is all about, it’s a day to commemorate Saint Patrick and the coming of Christianity to Ireland. Some refer to it as the Feast of Saint Patrick. This is one of those days that celebrates Irish culture and all of those things that they hold dear in Ireland. Locally the 19th Annual Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade will be Sunday, March 30, 2014 in Manchester NH.
Don’t Get Swept Away in the Celebration
At times, people can end up celebrating far too vigorously. They get caught up in what’s going on around them and often forget about how many brews they have put down. Make sure you keep this in mind when you head out to the pubs with your green shamrock and pound back the pints of green beer. In New Hampshire, the local law enforcement officials are ramping up patrols in efforts to try and catch those who make bad decisions. If you have been drinking, you need to refrain from getting behind the wheel to drive yourself home.
Make Plans Ahead of Time for a Driver
No one said you can’t go out and enjoy yourself, but you have to make sure you are doing it in a responsible manner. Heading out and getting drunk is one thing, but getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you clearly shouldn’t be driving is another. Due to recent changes in New Hampshire DWI laws, getting caught drinking and driving has some serious repercussions when convicted. St. Patrick’s Day is like Christmas for law enforcement officials. They end up catching countless people who choose to disobey the law time and time again.
Make sure you have a solid plan in place before you head out to enjoy yourself. For example, bring the phone number of a local cab company or have transportation arranged in advance with a relative or friend who isn’t celebrating the holiday. Getting a designated driver ready to go right from the start is one of the best things you can do.
Repercussions Can be Costly
Think about it. The risk of having your license taken away from you is going to cost you money, time, fines, expensive programs, an increase in your insurance policy, impaired driving record and so much more. Is that really how you want to end up after celebrating on March 17?
If you find yourself in trouble, you can turn to our team of professionals to help you along the way. Give us a call immediately to discuss what we can do for you and your case. 603-437-2733.
By Attorney Richard Monteith - Criminal Lawyer For New Hampshire
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
New Hampshire may now allow first time violators of the drunk driving laws to continue driving. A new bill is being debated, according to which the first time drunken driving offenders are allowed to drive. However this is applicable only when the drivers can switch on the ignition systems, pass the ignition interlock device test, and show their licenses.
On a Wednesday January 29th 2014, Bill HB 496 was passed by the House and is waiting for approval. According to the State lawmakers, it has been formulated for the sake of the new convicts whose forfeited licenses may result in their losing of jobs or dropping out of schools.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device? How Will it Be Used?
An ignition interlock device will be used in order to check the level of alcohol consumption among the drunken drivers. This device is an extremely small instrument that will be installed near the driver of any vehicle. This instrument requires a breath sample of the driver before he starts off his engine.
The engine of the vehicle operated by the convicted driver will not start, if the sample has 0.02% or greater concentration of blood alcohol. In fact, this ignition interlock device is designed with the aim of reducing the alcohol driving related crimes and also to help the intoxicated drivers - drive with ease. According to the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) reports, deaths from drunken driving can be reduced up to 30% if the interlock laws are ensured.
Both the ignition interlock devices and the new bill have the full support of MADD. MADD had already been a strong proponent of the IISD as these instruments can be of much help for drunken drivers.
It helps to ensure that the drunken drivers do not commit the same crime and it also saves them from losing their licenses. Statistics reports have shown that about the 70% of the individuals convicted of first time DWI offence have illegally driven their cars even with the suspension of their licenses. So, this new bill will now allow them to do the same, without experiencing any legal hurdles.
Current DWI Laws in New Hampshire
According to the current laws of New Hampshire, a person convicted of DWI can experience license suspension from 9 months to two years. This again will negatively affect their work and personal life. The proposed bill has mentioned that the drivers charged of DWI, will have to get an IISD installed in their vehicles. They also have to pay an amount of $80 and $50 for the maintenance of these devices and for procuring a special privilege license.
There are also many individuals who are against this proposed bill. Many of them feel that license suspension is absolutely essential for the drunken driving convicts. They believe that if a drunken driver’s license is not forfeited and if he is only required to pay a fine, then he might not take the matter seriously and repeat the same incident in future.
Thus this bill though criticized by some, turns out to be an alternative from which many individuals can benefit. A DWI offender will still have to pay the penalty of maintaining his IISD device and pay for the special license. Besides this, the offenders can save their jobs, and the risks of drunken driving too can be reduced considerably.
By Attorney Richard Monteith