Understanding New Hampshire’s implied consent

Any time you face the law, it is important you understand your rights and obligations. Depending upon the state that you are in, these rights may vary, particularly when it comes to arresting procedures. If you face a DUI or DWI, there are things you should know.

New Hampshire has implied consent laws in place. Many drivers are not aware of these and what they mean for their driving future. Read on to learn what implied consent entails and your options during a DUI/DWI stop.

Implied consent defined

The New Hampshire State Law Section 265-A:4 outlines the stipulations for implied consent. In short, this law states that if an officer lawfully arrests an individual for a DUI, the detainee automatically consents to taking a form of drug test to determine his or her blood alcohol content. The officer must administer the test at the time of the arrest. Even if the arrest does not occur, an officer can request that the individual take a preliminary breath test, usually to establish probable cause for issuing a DUI. The law does state that this preliminary test fits within implied consent as well, however the person does not have to take the test and the officer should inform him or her of this choice.


Once an arrest occurs, there are stiff penalties for refusing to submit to a test, including:

  •          First offense: license suspension for 180 days
  •          Second offense: license suspension for two years
  •          Third offense: license suspension for two years

These penalties do not include additional fees for a guilty verdict, and if the individual has a previous DUI, he or she may face jail time. In these instances, refusing a test does not usually help the case, and should the individual be unconscious, the officers may legally administer the test without permission.

As you can see, facing a DUI or DWI is a serious matter. Understanding your rights can help you to make the best decision for you under specific circumstances.


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