Getting Your License Back After DWI
When a person is arrested for DWI, one of their biggest concerns is often how it will affect their ability to drive. The truth is, there are several ways that a DWI arrest can affect a suspect's license. New Hampshire has some of the toughest DWI penalties in the country. The good news is that there are also ways to get a license back. New Hampshire law allows DWI suspects to challenge their license suspension.
Lawmakers feel that people who drive while intoxicated are capable of repeating the offense. In order to both discourage repeat offenses and punish drivers for making past bad behavior, license suspension is a very common penalty for drunk drivers. A suspect can also face additional license suspension if they exhibit any aggravating factors such as refusing to take a sobriety test.
DWI Administrative Hearings
A person accused of DWI faces administrative license suspension as soon as 30 days after their arrest. This type of suspension occurs in two circumstances:
- The suspect refused to consent to a sobriety test in order to determine impairment
- The suspect was found to have a alcohol concentration of over the legal limit (0.08 for drivers over 21 and 0.02 for drivers under 21)
In order to fight administrative license suspension, a suspect can request a an administrative hearing or review during which they or their attorney can argue their defense. An administrative hearing defense must question the validity of the arrest and not the reasons why the suspect feels that they should be entitled to keep their license. If the administrators who review the case feel that the defense is legitimate, the administrative license suspension will be canceled. It is important to remember that the results of this case do not affect the results of your criminal case. So, a person who wins there administrative hearing can still be found guilty of DWI later in court.
Ignition Interlock Devices in New Hampshire
Under section 265-A:36 drivers in New Hampshire who are convicted of driving while intoxicated will be sentenced to a period of license suspension. The length of this period depends on how many prior DWI convictions an offender has. A person who is convicted of aggravated DWI or a repeat DWI offense will also be sentenced to the installation of an alcohol ignition interlock device (IID).
An ignition interlock is a small device that requires a driver to give a breath sample when starting their vehicle. The device examines the sample for the presence of alcohol. If it detects alcohol, the device will not allow the engine to be started. This way, a driver cannot operate a vehicle when they have been drinking.
In New Hampshire, repeat and aggravated DWI offenders must install this device after their suspension period is up in order to get their license back. They must keep the device installed for a period of 12 months to 2 years. Offenders who choose not to install this device will not be able to get their license reinstated.
DWI License Reinstatement
In order for anyone who has had their license suspended or revoked due to DWI to have their license restored, they must first complete an alcohol and drug abuse screening process in order to determine if they have any substance abuse problems. If the results show that it recommends that the offender undergo substance abuse counseling, the offender shall complete a driver education program hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services. A certificate of completion of this course must be submitted in order to get their license reinstated.
In addition to completing driver education, a DWI offender must also pay all administrative fees before their license can be reinstated. Fees must be paid and proof of financial responsibility must be shown before a license can be reinstated in New Hampshire. In addition, a person who is found not guilty of DWI will also be entitled to license restoration without any further complications.
Get the Help You Need
A DWI can result in many kinds of penalties including license suspension. If you have been arrested for suspicion of DWI in New Hampshire, it is vital that you call our office right away. Taking immediate action is the best way to make sure that you get the results that you want and protect your ability to drive for as long as possible. The best way to avoid license suspension is to avoid DWI conviction. Only an experienced attorney can help you fight your charges.