Jan 1, 2016 12:29 PM

Drunken drivers with 1 conviction can get license back early

The Associated Press

CONCORD — New Hampshire residents convicted of drunken driving for the first time have the opportunity to get their license restored early under a new state law.

The law takes effect Friday. It applies to first-time offenders and requires court approval and installation of an ignition interlock system designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The law requires offenders to serve 45 days of their suspension before being eligible instead of the average six to nine months that a license is usually suspended. The limited-privilege license would be restricted to driving to work, school, medical appointments or treatment programs.

Some defense lawyers say the law is long overdue in a rural state where public transportation is limited. State police oppose the law.

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