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What constitutes an Aggravated DWI in NH & MA?

August 15, 2011

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In Massachusetts and New Hampshire there are enhanced penalties for certain types of DUI Offenses, often referred to as “Aggravated DUI.”

NH Triggers for Aggravated DWI:

Elevated BAC Level, Child Endangerment, Excessive Speed, Eluding Police Pursuit, Serious Bodily Injury

RSA 265-A:3

If driving a motor vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) at or above a .16 in New Hampshire you will find yourself charged with the Offense of Aggravated DWI. Aggravated DWI in New Hampshire is a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor carries a maximum potential sentence of one (1) year in the county house of corrections. The mandatory minimum sentence requires a committed sentence to the house of corrections for three (3) days, followed by an immediate committed consecutive sentence of seven (7) days in the State run inpatient alcohol treatment program with mandatory aftercare, or, outpatient alcohol counseling. The mandatory loss of license is eighteen (18) months, with the ability to petition the court for reinstatement eligibility after twelve (12) months. Reinstatement of driving privileges is subject to an ignition interlock system on your vehicle for at leaast twelve (12) months. “Aggravated DWI” is also triggered by a DWI Offense involving any of the following situations: driving at a speed in excess of 30 MPH over the posted speed limit; driving with a child under the age of 16; attempting to elude pursuit by police; or causing serious bodily injury. Obviously the penalties for an Aggravated DWI far exceed those imposed for a standard First Offense DUI.

Massachusetts Triggers for Enhnaced DUI Penalties:

Child Endangerment Serious Bodily Injury and Motor Vehicle Homicide

In Massachusetts enhanced DUI penalties apply to any driver accused of being DUI with a child in the vehicle twelve (12) years old or younger. Rather than a minimum loss of license for as short a period of time as forty-five (45) days, the loss of license for DUI Child Endangerment carries a loss of license of one (1) year, and a committed jail sentence of ninety (90) days. See M.G.L. Chapter 90, section 24V. Massachusetts also enhances penalties for DUI Offenses resulting in, or causing serious bodily injury. This charge can be brought at the misdemeanor or felony level and sentences therefore range from a mandatory six (6) months in jail, up to a maximum of ten (10) years in prison. Loss of license for either misdemeanor or felony level conviction is two (2) years. See M.G.L. Chapter 90, section 24L. Felony Motor Vehicle Homicide is triggered by a DUI Offense resulting in, or causing death by negligence and recklessness. Again, this charge may be brought as a misdemeanor where the prosecutor need only prove the DUI resulting in death, regardless of proof of negligence or recklessness. The sentences between the two (2) versions of this offense range from a jail sentence of thirty (30) days up to fifteen (15) years in prison. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend the license of a driver convicted of either version of the offense for a period of fifteen (15) years. See M.G.L. Chapter 90, section 24G.

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