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Administrative License Suspension

Nashua Administrative Driver’s License Suspension

Fighting to Protect Your Driving Privileges

Generally, in a DWI matter, two separate processes take place. There is the criminal process, which is concerned whether the accused is guilty of driving while intoxicated. The proceedings happen in criminal court. Then there is the administrative process concerned whether the accused's driver's license should be suspended. The New Hampshire Department of Safety handles administrative hearings and reviews. Note that these are separate processes, and an administrative driver's license suspension (ALS) is not tied to whether the accused is convicted of DWI. Rather, an ALS can take place even before the criminal matter is resolved.

If you may be subject to an administrative driver's license suspension in Nashua because of an alleged DWI offense, you can challenge the action by requesting a hearing with the Department of Safety. During the proceeding, you must prove that your driving privileges should not be suspended because of a legal or procedural error in your case. At Bernazzani Law, our Nashua administrative license suspension attorneys are here to help you through the process of protecting your driving privileges. We will review everything that happened in your case, from the initial stop to chemical tests being administered, to develop a persuasive argument on your behalf.

Allow our team to provide the sound guidance you need by calling us at (603) 261-2214 or contacting us online.

What Is an Administrative Driver's License Suspension?

There are two instances in which a person accused of driving while intoxicated can face a driver's license suspension, which are connected to New Hampshire's implied consent statute. Under the law, anyone lawfully arrested for DWI is deemed to have given permission to be subject to a physical test or blood, breath, or urine test to determine their level of intoxication. In other words, even though the driver did not outwardly communicate their consent, as long as the arresting officer had probable cause to believe the individual violated the DWI law, the State assumes that they agree to participate in testing.

One of the ways someone can be subject to an ALS is if they refuse the physical or chemical test. The other way is if the individual participates in the test and the results show that they had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more (for drivers 21 years of age or older) or 0.02 or more (for drivers under 21 years of age).

In either situation, the following will take place:

  • The officer will submit a report to the Department of Safety,
  • They will confiscate the individual's driver's license (if they are a New Hampshire resident),
  • They will issue a temporary license (valid for 30 days), and
  • They will provide the individual with a notice of suspension

How Long Does an ALS Last in New Hampshire?

The driver's license suspension length depends on the circumstances that triggered the action and the driver's history.

If the driver refused to submit to a chemical or physical test, the suspension period may be as follows:

  • 180 days for a first offense
  • 2 years if the driver previously refused or has a prior DWI or aggravated DWI conviction

If the driver had an alcohol concentration above the legal limit, the suspension period may be as follows:

  • 6 months for a first offense
  • 2 years if the driver previously refused or has a prior DWI or aggravated DWI conviction

What Is an Administrative Hearing?

After the arresting officer submits the report about the individual's chemical test refusal or failure, the Department of Safety will review it to determine whether the driver's license suspension is warranted. The individual can contest the action by presenting their arguments at an administrative hearing. They only have 30 days from receiving the notice of suspension to request a hearing or review. If they do not file by the deadline, they forfeit their right to challenge the action.

As noted earlier, the administrative hearing is not concerned with whether a violation of the law occurred. Instead, it is focused on the legality of the stop and what took place when the physical or chemical test was requested or administered.

Specifically, the Department of Safety will consider the following factors:

  • Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the individual was driving under the influence
  • The facts the officer relied on to establish reasonable grounds
  • Whether the individual was arrested
  • Whether the individual refused or failed a chemical test
  • Whether the officer informed the individual that they could have the test administered by someone of their choosing
  • Whether the officer informed the individual that refusal or failure would result in a driver's license suspension

If the individual presents sufficient evidence to support their arguments, the Department of Safety will withdraw the suspension, meaning the individual will not lose their driving privileges. However, if the individual is unsuccessful at making their case, the suspension will remain. In circumstances where the Department of Safety sustains the suspension, the individual can appeal the decision.

Legal Help Through the NH Administrative License Suspension Process

Gathering evidence and developing and presenting a compelling argument to challenge a driver's license suspension can be challenging. At Bernazzani Law, we understand the administrative processes involved in a DWI matter and can help at every stage of your case.

Schedule a free initial consultation with a Nashua administrative license suspension attorney by contacting us at (603) 261-2214.

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