In New Hampshire and Massachusetts, if you attempt to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence). Both charges are essentially the same and can bring some substantial consequences if you are convicted. Those penalties are made even worse if you are charged with an aggravating factor and the offense is bumped up to Aggravated DWI or DUI.
Those aggravating factors include:
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 mph
- Driving with a passenger under 16 years old
- Attempting to elude law enforcement by speeding up, turning off headlights, abandoning a vehicle, or other evasive actions
- Causing an accident that results in serious bodily injury
- Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .16% or more
Normally, a person can be charged with DWI or DUI if their blood alcohol content is .08% or more. However, if you are an underage driver (under 21), you can be charged if your blood alcohol content is .02% or more.
Aggravated DWIs are Class A misdemeanors, except when there is serious bodily injury, which enhances the charge to a Class B felony. Fines can range into thousands of dollars and jail sentences of 14 days up to seven years.
Needless to say, if you are charged with Aggravated DWI, you face serious consequences requiring a skilled and experienced defense attorney. The loss of your license can be especially difficult if you hold a commercial license and are required to drive for your job.
Because every case is different, you should immediately contact an attorney after you are charged. Do not make any statements to law enforcement officials until you have had the opportunity to consult with an attorney who will protect your rights and work hard to preserve your freedom.
Bowser Law serves clients in communities throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.