_In New Hampshire, if you are not yet 21 and convicted of "any offense involving the sale, possession, use, or abuse of alcohol" you may have your license suspended, revoked or denied.
_If you are under 21 and charged with Driving while intoxicated or Under the Influence you may be sentenced as follows:
· Drivers under twenty-one face longer mandatory minimum suspension for DWI.If you are under 21 at the time of your arrest, the Court must impose a minimum mandatory license loss of one year, and further has the authority to revoke your license for up to two years.
· If you are under 20 at the time of the offense, you will also face an additional revocation
by the Department of Safety; that loss can vary between twenty and
ninety days, depending upon your prior record. You are entitled to a
hearing before the Department of Safety that may result in that
revocation being held in abeyance if you meet certain criteria followed
by the Department of Safety. You also will be required to petition the
Department of Safety to consider the restoration of your license after
the period of suspension is over.
Additionally, an underage offender may be required to install an
ignition interlock device in any vehicle registered to the offender or
used by the offender on a regular basis until he or she reaches 21 or
for at least 12 months, whichever period is longer.
Simple Possession of Alcohol
_What is “possession of alcohol”?
Effective June 30, 2009, New Hampshire defines possession of an
alcoholic beverage as "any person under the age of 21 years who has in
his or her possession any liquor or alcoholic beverage, or who is
intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage." This includes
"internal possession", meaning the alcohol in your stomach.
FIRST OFFENSE - FINE
The fine for a first offense of possessing alcohol while under 21 years of age in New Hampshire is a minimum of $300.
SECOND OFFENSE - FINE
The fine for a second offense of possessing alcohol while under 21 years of age in New Hampshire is a minimum of $600.
Further Punishment by the Judge
Under New Hampshire law, a Judge may implement additional penalties
over and above monetary fines. These penalties may include mandatory
alcohol education classes, loss of driver's license and/or community
service. The extent and length of these penalties are at the sole
discretion of the Judge.
· You may also lose your
license, if you are under 21, for being intoxicated, using a fake ID,
attempting to buy alcohol, transporting alcohol or possessing an open
container. A Judge may take your license for up to 30 days for “just
cause” regardless of what you are charged with.
· Thus, if you are on Rye Beach or Prescott Park with an open container, with no connection to a vehicle, the court may take your license and the DMV, if they learn of the charge, will take your license unless your lawyer convinces the Judge to mark your complaint “no loss of license”. A
lawyer can help you minimize, or even avoid these consequences by
having a case dismissed, continued, or reaching a creative agreement
with the prosecution. I have litigated countless of these cases
in Portsmouth and resolved, through negotiations with the police, many
Drug Related Offenses
_In addition to the above alcohol consequences, a person under age 21 can lose his or her license for any drug related offense,
regardless of whether a motor vehicle was involved. Depending on the
charge, a license loss can be mandatory. But in many cases, the
judge can instruct the DMV not to suspend a person's license.
The license loss is just the start of the problems with an underage drug charge. Any amount of marijuana is a criminal offense in New Hampshire.
License loss, the loss of student loans and a criminal record are all
consequences for even “simple” possession. Most convictions will be
reported to your home jurisdictions, which often honor the New Hampshire
license loss or even add to a longer period of suspension. A lawyer
can help you avoid, or at least minimize these consequences.
_263:56-b Revocation or Denial for Drugs or Alcohol Involvement. –
I. Any person who is not yet 21 years of age on the date of the
incident, who is convicted, found to be delinquent under RSA 169-B, or
found to be in need of services under RSA 169-D, for any offense
involving the sale, possession, use, or abuse of alcohol or of
controlled drugs as defined in RSA 318-B:1, VI, or of a controlled drug
analog as defined under RSA 318-B:1, VI-a, may at the discretion of the courtbe
subject to the revocation or denial of a driver's license or privilege
to drive for not less than 90 days but not more than one year on the
first finding or conviction under this paragraph, and not less than 6
months but not more than 2 years for a subsequent finding or conviction.
Nothing in this section shall prevent the court from requiring any
person subject to its provisions from successfully completing any
alcohol or substance abuse education program in lieu of a loss or denial
of driving license or privilege. The director, upon receipt of a
notification from the court that the court has ordered the suspension of
a person's license or driving privilege pursuant to this paragraph,
shall forthwith issue a formal order of suspension and, in the case of
denial of an application for a license, the period imposed shall begin
on the date the person is eligible by age for the issuance of a license.
Notwithstanding RSA 169-B:35 or any other law regarding
confidentiality, any court which convicts or makes a finding that an
offense described in this section has occurred involving a person who
meets the age limits specified in this section shall forward a notice of
such conviction or finding to the director. The director shall maintain
the confidentiality of notices received.
II. The director shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court,
revoke the driver's license or privilege to drive or deny an
application for a license for not less than 90 days but not more than
one year on the first finding or conviction under paragraph I, and not
less than 6 months but not more than 2 years for a subsequent finding or
conviction; provided, however, that the director shall not revoke or
deny a license or privilege to drive under this paragraph without first
giving the person an opportunity for a hearing to determine that the
person is the individual who was convicted of the offense and against
whom the court order applies. In the case of denial of an application
for a license, the period imposed shall begin on the date the person is
eligible by age for the issuance of a license.
III. Any person who is not yet 18 years of age on the date of the
incident, and who is convicted, found to be delinquent under RSA 169-B,
or found to be in need of services under RSA 169-D, for the offense of
sale or possession with intent to sell controlled drugs as defined in
RSA 318-B:1, VI or a controlled drug analog as defined under RSA
318-B:1, VI-a, shall be subject to revocation or denial of a driver's
license or privilege to drive for a mandatory period of at least one
year and a maximum period of up to 5 years. In the case of denial of an
application for a license under this section, the period imposed shall
begin on the date the person is eligible by age for the issuance of a
IV. The driver's license of any person
who is 18 years of age or older on the date of the incident, and who is
convicted of the offense of sale or possession with intent to sell
controlled drugs as defined in RSA 318-B:1, VI or a controlled drug
analog as defined under RSA 318-B:1, VI-a, may be revoked, at the
discretion of the court, for any period of time, including for life. The court of relevant jurisdiction shall have the discretion to determine when the revocation shall begin.