With the legal drinking age in the United States being 21, there is a wide range of time for mistakes to be made surrounding many different aspects of alcohol in Nashua, NH. However, underage drinking is not the only alcohol-related offense an individual can encounter, as many adults find themselves in DUI/DWI and many other alcohol-related cases.
As common as many of the violations surrounding alcohol can be, the consequences of being charged with these violations can severely impact your current lifestyle and leave lasting impacts on the options available in your future. With the potential for suspended licenses, hefty fines, and other inconvenient and harmful punishments, Shepherd and Hayes Law Firm is here to help mitigate the damage or get charges dropped altogether.
Underage Alcohol-Related Offenses and Penalties
Underage drinking is a serious offense and may lead to various penalties and consequences. The legal drinking age is 21, regardless of the situation or state you reside in throughout the United States. Getting caught with alcohol or drinking alcohol carries severe penalties. A lawyer can fight your charges for underage drinking, alcohol possession, or attempting to purchase alcohol.
Purchasing or Possessing Alcohol in New Hampshire
State and federal laws enforce laws that prohibit underage drinking and the possession and distribution of alcohol amongst minors. These are typical charges many college students and younger individuals find themselves with after making a mistake involving alcoholic beverages.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
In New Hampshire, if you are under 21 years old and have any liquor or alcoholic beverage in your possession, or you are intoxicated, you will be fined a minimum of $300 upon conviction for a first offense and a minimum of $600 for a second or subsequent offense. Additionally, this charge may result in losing your driver’s license.
Attempt to Purchase Alcohol
If you are under 21 years of age and attempt to purchase alcohol, you are guilty of a violation. Additionally, the court may order that the DMV suspend your driver’s license. It is illegal for minors to consume alcohol and attempt to purchase it or request that an adult buy it for them. These charges may result in losing your privilege to drive and may damage your record.
Misrepresenting Age to Purchase Alcohol
A person who falsely represents his age to obtain liquor is guilty of a misdemeanor charge and subject to financial penalties. A first offense is punishable by a mandatory $500 fine. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a mandatory $1,000 minimum fine. This charge may also result in a license suspension. Misrepresenting your age with false identification may also result in added penalties or charges for using falsified documents.
Transportation of Alcohol by a Minor
No underage driver may transport any liquor or beverage in any part of a vehicle unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Court and the DMV may suspend your license if you are convicted of transporting alcohol as a minor.
We understand that making mistakes and errors without regard to the law happens to individuals when they are young. If you or a child is facing an alcohol-related offense, you have the right to obtain expert legal representation with an experienced criminal lawyer. We will review the facts of your case to prepare the best defense possible.
Alcohol-Related Offenses While Driving a Vehicle or Watercraft
While minors may encounter underage drinking charges and other alcohol offenses, adults may also encounter an alcohol-related charge when driving a vehicle or any watercraft under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Impaired driving is illegal in New Hampshire, and a skilled Nashua DWI defense attorney can help you fight the charges that may significantly damage your record and your life.
Driving under the Influence (DUI)
According to the CDC, adults contribute to around 130 million episodes of drunk driving throughout the United States every year. Studies also showed that one in ten high school students drinks and drives. These are alarming statistics, but regardless of your situation, a skilled legal team can help your case regarding DUI and DWI offenses and the penalties you may face.
Penalties of DWI convictions include:
- First Offense: Punishable by $500 to $1,200 in fines and typically no jail time. A
license may be suspended for nine months to 2 years.
- Second Offense: 17 days to one year of jail time, up to $2,000 in fines, and a license suspension for up to 3 years.
- Third Offense: Punishable by up to one year of jail time and $2,000 in fines, as well as a lifetime license revocation.
- Probation: In addition to typical DUI penalties, an individual may be ordered by the court to remain on probation and complete an alcohol-related program to regain their license and resolve their charges.
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: This misdemeanor charge carries up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. In the case of a felony charge, the individual faces up to seven years in prison and $4,000 in fines.
A DUI charge applies when one has a BAC higher than 0.08 for most adult individuals.
Charges for underage drinkers behind the wheel are treated the same as an adult charge, but in a juvenile court. Any BAC higher than 0.02 for anyone under 21 years of age can result in illegal drinking charges with jail time and serious penalties.
New Hampshire Open Container Law
The New Hampshire open container law makes it illegal to possess drugs and open containers of alcoholic beverages inside vehicles. There may be some exceptions to this law, however. Penalties include a $150 fine and a license suspension of 60 days for a first offense. Second or subsequent offenses may result in license suspension for a year.
A New Hampshire Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Your Case
As one of the Top-Rated Possession of Alcohol Lawyers in the area, we have the experience necessary to apply the tools and strategies we have learned through helping countless clients avoid being charged with these offenses or the penalties they are facing.
If you are convicted of alcohol-related offenses, the penalties may affect your current privileges to drive as well as your opportunities in the future. You do not have to face your criminal charges alone, as many times an aggressive lawyer can have minor and adult offenses and charges dropped or penalties diminished in a courtroom decision.
Call Shepherd & Hayes for a Skilled Criminal Defense Team to Defend You in Nashua, NH
Alcohol offenses laws in NH come in a variety of forms, and these offenses often result in several court dates, fines, and a loss of license if convicted. To begin seeking a resolution to the unfortunate situation surrounding alcohol that you have found yourself in, contacting Shepherd and Hayes Law Firm, is the first step.
We will ensure a resolution is reached quickly and efficiently. Whether you are facing the offense or are responsible for the individual who is, you can ensure that the best legal service is representing your case. Contact Shepherd and Hayes Law Firm by filling out our contact form or by calling (603) 233-1626 to schedule a free consultation.