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New Hampshire bill to require limited licenses for drunk drivers

Individuals who are convicted of drunk driving in New Hampshire face stiff penalties, even when an incident represents a first conviction. A bill considered by the state legislature in May would require individuals with criminal convictions on first-time drunk driving charges to apply for limited licenses if they wanted to drive to work, school or other essential locations.

The bill, which seemingly brings another step to the aftermath of a drunk driving conviction, does have positive points for individuals facing charges. A drunk driving charge can impact a person's entire life, causing inability to maintain school requirements, medical appointments or work schedules if a license is suspended and a person doesn't have a local support system to assist in transportation.

The bill would require a judge to approve the location or locations that a person wanted to drive to before a license was received. Additionally, anyone with the special license would be required to install an ignition interlock device in the vehicle. Such devices require a person to blow into the device before the vehicle will start, reducing the chance someone will drive drunk.

Individuals would only be allowed to drive to and from approved locations, and could not drive cars without the interlock device. Reportedly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is supportive of the bill because it encourages and teaches sober driving. The bill would not be effective until 2016, so authorities have time to prepare for the change.

One aspect of criminal defense that many people don't consider is the aftermath. Whether acquitted or convicted, individuals may need to go through certain procedures following a criminal case. Measures such as the limited licenses make it possible for individuals to maintain a level of normalcy in their lives following convictions, but failure to adopt requirements could result in further legal woes.

Source: Seacoast Online, "N.H. Senate approves limited license for drunken drivers" No author given, May. 15, 2014

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