Questionable Study Ranks NH 34th in Severity of DWI Penalties

Today, relying on a study that was published on a personal finance website called "Wallethub", the Laconia Citizen ranked NH 34th out of the 50 States in the severity of its DWI penalties. The ranking would lead one to conclude that NH must be far more lenient than Connecticut or Massachusetts, since these nearby States were ranked 8th and 12th, respectively.

Another Misleading Study

The "study", however, reveals how one can be misled by merely "reading the law" that applies in a given State, instead of asking participants in the criminal justice system how the laws are actually applied in practice.

Connecticut and Massachusetts both have alternatives to conviction for a first-time offender that result in a far more lenient outcome than available in NH. The 2-1/2 year maximum jail sentence theoretically available for a first-time OUI in Massachusetts is nothing but an illusion. No court sentences first-time offenders to those sorts of excessive, punitive sentences. Most first-time offenders in MA or CT will have an opportunity to drive on an interlock immediately or almost immediately.

NH's Restrictive Laws, Unlike CT and MA, Offer no "Cinderella" License

Meanwhile, NH's "limited license provision" is close to useless for most first-time offenders, as explained here. In NH, most first-time offenders will not be able to drive for any reason, including going to work, for at least 90 days.

You can read the Laconia Citizen article here: 2016-8-12-Study_ State middle of the road in DWI penalties Laconia Citizen

Categories: DWI News