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What will happen to me with an open container violation in NH?

Bristol, NH |

I am a 17-year-old from NH. I have a 100% clean record, get good grades, play sports, blah blah, all that. Late last night my friends and I were met by a police officer while we were on a beach. There was beer there. We agreed to a breathalyzer test. Nobody was legally intoxicated, however I blew a 0.006% BAC. I was issued a ticket for open container.
The police officer said that the worst I can get in court is a $155 dollar fine. He told me that it isn't a criminal offense, I don't need to put it on college applications and it shouldn't get back to my school (This happened in Bristol, NH, I live in Nashua, NH). Is everything he says is true? What can happen to me? Thank you to anybody who can help me.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. What he said is in fact true -- which is shocking because it came from the mouth of a police officer. It's civil not criminal so it won't go on your record. It shouldn't get back to anyone. Pay the fine and you won't hear of it afterwards unless you get in trouble again. If you do, Attorney Richard Foley is a fine New Hampshire attorney. 603-433-1303. Godd luck and stay out of trouble.


  2. It is a violation level offense so it does not need to be reported as a criminal conviction.
    If you were charged as being a minor in possession RSA 179:10 the fine would be $250, and the NH DMV should seek a 90 day to year loss of license, unless the Court specifically orders DMV not to suspend.
    If you were charged under RSA 265-A:44 it is a fine of $150, with a potential 60 day loss of license unless Court specifically orders DMV not to suspend.
    There is no need to put this on a college application.
    Feel free to call for more information.

    Len Harden,
    788-2080