Recently, following their passage in the New Hampshire state legislature, three key measures were signed into law by Governor John Lynch that will affect the outcomes of DUI and drug-related cases in the state.
The first is simply an expansion of existing DUI law to include prescription drugs and other legal substances that could possibly impair a driver's ability. The move could dramatically affect state residents as they could find themselves facing criminal charges instead of traffic violations, especially if medications that they regularly take discourage the operation of a vehicle.
Another creates the operation of so-called "drug courts" in the state, which are designed to reduce prison sentences in drug-related offenses in exchange for rehabilitation time. According to studies, this method works better to lower drug crime rates and helps individuals return to addiction-free lives.
While this second law does not set up mandatory guidelines for the drug courts, proponents say that it lays the foundation for education and rehab programs to be set up around the state, according to the Boston Globe. There are currently four counties out of the 10 in New Hampshire that utilize the strategy.
Morgan Hurley, a reformed drug addict who was among the first to benefit from Grafton County's program, said at the governor's bill-signing ceremony, "It teaches you life skills. It gets to the root of why you used drugs in the first place."
The final bill, more a procedural matter, requires that prosecutors seeking indictments related to driving while impaired must submit arraignments within two weeks of the incident.
If you have been accused of a DUI or drug-related crime in the Granite State, these new laws, which go into effect in January 2013, may affect your case. An experienced New Hampshire DUI lawyer can help argue your case in court.