New Hampshire Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
ABC or package stores, which are state-owned operations, sell wine and spirits to the New Hampshire public. Beer is generally available in grocery stores and convenience stores. Alcohol is available in restaurants and bars from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., with liquor stores available for service from 6 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
You must be 21 years of age to drink alcohol in New Hampshire, but can work in a restaurant serving alcohol, as a bartender, or sell alcohol at age 17.
Open Container Laws
Any bottles of alcohol that have been previously opened must be transported in a vehicle’s trunk.
While the legal limit for blood-alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent, as it is in all states, a driver who performs a chemical test for intoxication and registers at .16 percent over that legal level will be charged with enhanced penalties. At .08 percent a driver is considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be charged with a DUI even if there is no more evidence than this.
Drivers under 21 are subject to DUI penalties if they are chemically tested at just .02 percent.
Laws that require a driver to comply with breath, blood, or urine testing for blood-alcohol content (BAC) come under ‘implied consent laws.’ Refusing to be tested incurs penalties that can mean mandatory suspension of a driver’s license for up to one year.
In all states, “zero tolerance laws” focus on drivers not of legal drinking age. In New Hampshire, persons under the age of 21 operating a vehicle with a .02 percent blood-alcohol level or above are subject to DUI penalties.
The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can remove a driver’s license for DUI convictions for six months for the first DUI offense; three years for the second offense; and five years for the third offense.
While mandatory attachment of an ignition interlock device is possible, vehicle confiscation is not. Alcohol education, treatment or assessment can be ordered.
DUI is considered a felony only if it results in injury.