New Hampshire State Police Troop A has its headquarters about 20 miles south of Rochester, in Epping.
Troopers regularly issue reports on their activities, including lists of recent arrests. As is so often the case, driving while intoxicated arrests dominated a list released a couple of days ago.
In the very first case on the list, a Rochester man, 21 years old, was charged with DWI after being pulled over on Back River Road in Dover.
Another man, 56 years old and from Northwood, was charged with driving after his license had been suspended for DWI and for violating the open container law. He was on Portland Avenue here in Rochester at the time.
An 18-year-old faces an underage DWI and drug possession charge after being taken into custody in Durham earlier this month and a 26-year-old Massachusetts man was charged with DWI and transporting a controlled substance in Farmington.
Each of these people and situations are unique, but each person will face similarly serious possible penalties if convicted.
A first-time DWI conviction can mean a minimum 90-day loss of a driver's license. That's the minimum; the maximum can be a license loss of two years. (It should be noted that an underage DWI conviction results in a minimum license loss of a year.)
The DWI fine can be between $500 and $1,200.
Plus, the driver faces a 20-hour impaired driver intervention program (cost is about $600).
The penalties are substantially more severe if a person has been convicted of a DWI offense within the past decade. Drivers face mandatory jail time, mandatory residential treatment and mandatory minimum license loss of three years.
The best path is to avoid conviction, if possible. Most drivers accused of DWI/DUI will rely on an experienced criminal defense attorney to help them navigate a complex legal system as they strive to protect their license and freedom.
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat, "State Police Troop A log," Feb. 22, 2014