In every state you visit, you will find that the laws regarding drugs and alcohol vary slightly. You could be driving under the legal alcohol limit in one state, only to cross the state line and be over the limit in the next.

In New England, where interstate travel is very common, it is even more important to know these laws. New Hampshire has some unique drug and alcohol laws. In this article, we will cover NH’s most critical drug and alcohol laws to know, as well as the penalties for breaking them. These laws include:

  • DUI laws
  • Cannabis laws
  • Zero tolerance laws
  • Crimes related to drugs and alcohol

DUI Laws in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, a DUI might be called a DWI. You can get a DWI in NH if you drive or attempt to drive in any of the following scenarios:

  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher.
  • While impaired or under the influence of any substance that affects your ability to drive well. This could include alcohol, prescription medications, narcotics, or over-the-counter drugs.

Commercial drivers in NH must have a BAC of .04% or lower in order to drive.

Zero Tolerance Laws for New Hampshire

Like many other states, New Hampshire has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving if you are under the age of 21. Anyone under the age of 21 years old will get a DUI in New Hampshire if:

  • They have a BAC of .02% or higher (can be tested for via breath, blood, or urine)
  • They refuse to take a test

.02% is very low for BAC. Many people will have this BAC even if they can’t feel the effects of the alcohol they have consumed. If you want to ensure you will not get a DUI under the age of 21 in New Hampshire, don’t drink.

Is Marijuana Legal in New Hampshire?

Marijuana has been decriminalized in New Hampshire. You will not be given prison time or even have a criminal record if you possess a small amount of the drug for personal use. You may get a small fine, similar to a traffic violation.

Possessing larger amounts of cannabis is illegal in the state and can carry heavy penalties. It is still completely illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in New Hampshire.

Drug and Alcohol-Related Crimes in New Hampshire

Drug crimes in New Hampshire include:

  • Selling illegal drugs.
  • Possessing illegal drugs.
  • Making illegal drugs.
  • Driving while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

Alcohol-related crimes in New Hampshire include:

  • Drinking and driving.
  • Attempting to buy alcohol if you are underage.
  • Driving with an open container of alcohol in the car.
  • Selling alcohol to someone underage.

Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse in New Hampshire

If you are caught breaking any of the laws listed above, you will face penalties in New Hampshire. Drug and alcohol law penalties in this state include:

DUI Penalties in NH

If you get a DWI in NH and you are over the age of 21, you will face the following consequences:

  • 1st offense: 9 months to 2 years license suspension, $500 to $1200 fine.
  • 2nd offense: 3 years license suspension, $750 to $2000 fine, 17 days to 1 year of jail time. (Minimum of 60 days jail time if the prior offense was within the last 2 years.)
  • 3rd+ offense: Lifetime revocation of license, $750 to $2000 fine, 180 days to 1 year of jail time.

Zero Tolerance Penalties in NH

If you get a DWI under the age of 21 in NH, it could result in the following penalties:

  • Fine of at least $500
  • Enrollment in alcohol/driver ed course
  • At least 1 year license suspension.

Cannabis Penalties in NH

Marijuana penalties in New Hampshire can be broken down into the type of offense. Penalties are as follows:

  • Possession: Up to 1 year in jail, up to $2000 in fines.
  • Sale/Trafficking: Up to 40 years in jail, up to $500,000 fine. (Sliding penalty scale based on amount of marijuana sold.)
  • Hash/ Marijuana Concentrates: 1 year in jail, up to $5000 fine.

Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Abuse in New Hampshire

If you are spending time researching the laws and penalties for drug and alcohol crimes in New Hampshire, it could be a sign that it’s time to get some help. Fortunately, there are several well-regarded Drug & Alcohol Rehabs in New Hampshire.

It is never too late to call for help. With professional treatment, your drug or alcohol addiction can be managed and a full recovery may be in your future.

Do not assume that your addiction will magically get better. Call Rehab Adviser today to find out how you can start the road to a better life.


  1. Marijuana Laws in New Hampshire – Medical & Recreational Laws. (n.d.)
  2. New Hampshire Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties. (2010, July 7)
  3. New Hampshire DWI Laws. (n.d.)

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