New Hampshire has a strict policy with regard to drunk driving and license suspension. Drinking and driving is not to be taken lightly, and in an effort to curb drunk driving, there are a few instances in which your license will be suspended immediately.
In New Hampshire, if you refuse to take an alcohol concentration test or if you take the test and your alcohol concentration level is above the legal limit, your license will be suspended. Suspensions begin at six months, but can be as long as two years if there is a prior refusal or prior DWI conviction on your record. This is known as an administrative suspension.
If you take the test, however, and your test result is higher than the 0.08 percent alcohol level allowed by the state, the officer will immediately confiscate your driver's license and provide you with a 30-day temporary license.
What About Underage Drivers?
If you are an underage driver or unlicensed operator of a motor vehicle under the age of 18, and you are convicted of a DWI or any other drug or alcohol related charge in the state of New Hampshire, your license will be revoked or your application for a license will be denied if you do not yet have a license. Children up to age 18 face a license suspension of up to five years. If you are over the age of 18, but under the age of 21, your license can be suspended for any period of time, including a lifetime suspension.
Repercussions of Driving with a Suspended Licenses
If your license has been suspended due to any kind of alcohol-related driving event (refusal of consent, alcohol concentration, etc.), and you are caught driving while your license is suspended, you will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Additionally, you will have to spend a minimum of seven days in jail and pay fines of up to $1,000. Your license will also be suspended for an additional year.
What's more, if you have an accident while driving with a suspended license, you will be convicted of a felony. Do not drive if your license is suspended!
The state of New Hampshire does not offer work permits or limited driving permits. If your license is suspended, you cannot drive. However, you can and should appeal the suspension, and if you are found not guilty of the DWI charge, your license may be reinstated, although administrative license suspensions will stand.
This post contains excerpts from The NH DWI Book, the definitive guide to protecting your rights in the face of New Hampshire's tough DWI/DUI laws.