The New Hampshire legislature has made major changes to the DWI laws effective January 1, 2013. I will go into them in detail, but some of the major changes are: DWI Drugs is now any substance/drug, not just a controlled substance; Complete revision to the alcohol programs (No more MOP); Quicker arraignments; Increased penalties for Aggravated DWI & Subsequent offense; The DMV can now require an interlock device for ANY dui. In my opinion, none of these changes help most people arrested for DWI. With increased penalties, there is even more at stake if you are convicted of DWI. New Hampshire already had some of the harshest laws and penalties in the Country, they are now even more harsh. You need to consult an experienced New Hampshire DUI Attorney as soon as possible.
1: DWI Drugs can be based upon any substance (and in my opinion everyone who drives on the road is always committing the crime of DWI due to this absurd statute)
Before January 1, 2013, to be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs, the prosecutor had to prove a "controlled substance". Many drugs are not a controlled substance and this was one of my favorite defenses. I guess the legislature got upset with too many people being found not guilty, so the statute now provides it is against the law to drive:
"under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug,
prescription drug, over-the-counter drug, or any other chemical
substance, natural or synthetic, which impairs a person's ability to
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has already defined under the influence as impairment to any degree. The least amount of proof possible (which happens to make NH have the most strict DWI law in the country). So, if your ability to drive is impaired even less than 1% you can be found guilty of DWI.
But, look how broad "prescription drug, over-the-counter drug, or any other chemical
substance, natural or synthetic" is. This includes pretty much every substance/matter, as everything in this world has chemicals/molecules in it. So, the prosecutor could get a conviction for tylenol, every prescription medication, nicotine, water, caffeine etc. I am not a chemist or physiologist, but it seems to me if someone is just a little sleepy, hungry, depressed, anxious, happy, or pretty much anything, there are probably some chemical reactions going on in that person's brain, and substances such as serotonin are probably being affected. The way I read this absurd overbroad statute, is that if you are not driving at 100% (Which is impossible) there is likely something that affected your ability to drive even in the slightest degree. Accordingly, I posit that everyone is always committing the crime of DWI in the State of New Hampshire.