New Hampshire Administrative License Suspension

You only have 30 days to challenge the Administrative License Suspension

If you’re arrested for a DWI, you have to deal with both the administrative license suspension, and the separate DWI suspension that will be imposed if you’re convicted of drunk driving.  It’s important to remember that the administrative license suspension is tacked onto the criminal DWI suspension if you refused the blood or breath test, as opposed to being concurrent with the DWI suspension if you took the test and had an alcohol level above the legal limit.  For example, if you have a drunk driving suspension in the criminal case for 3 months (90 days), and you have a 180 day administrative license suspension for a 1st refusal to take the breath test, then the full suspension period will be for 180 days + 90 days, for a total of 270 days.  If you took the breath test, then the 90 days for the DWI suspension would be included with the administrative license suspension, for a total of only 180 days.  The time frames for the administrative license suspension are below, and in the DWI Penalties section.

Alcohol Concentration Above Legal LimitLength of Suspension
1st Violation180 days
2nd Violation2 yrs
Refusal to Take Breath or Blood TestLength of Suspension
1st Violation180 days
2nd Violation2 yrs

Is the Administrative License Suspension Hearing a Waste of Time?

The administrative license suspension hearing is very important, because you have a chance to potentially save your driver’s license from being suspended, which is separate from the DWI suspension if you’re convicted of DWI in the criminal case.  After getting arrested for DWI, it is important to schedule an Administrative License Suspension Hearing immediately.  In New Hampshire you only have 30 days from the date of arrest to schedule the administrative license suspension hearing.  During that 30 day time frame you will have a temporary license.  Even if your lawyer doesn’t win the license suspension hearing, it’s a valuable opportunity to speak to the officer, and get information (more importantly a transcript) that can later be used for the DWI trial.

NH law provides several reasons for challenging the administrative license suspension:

  • Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the arrested person had been driving, attempting to drive, or was in actual physical control of a vehicle upon the ways of this state or operating or attempting to operate a boat on the waters of this state or was driving, operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of an OHRV while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics, or drugs;
  • The facts upon which the reasonable grounds to believe such are based;
  • Whether the person had been arrested;
  • Whether the person has refused to submit to the test upon the request of the law enforcement officer or whether a properly administered test or tests disclosed an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, or, in the case of a person under 21 years of age, 0.02 or more;
  • Whether the officer informed the arrested person of his or her right to have a similar test or tests conducted by a person of his or her own choosing; and
  • Whether the officer informed the arrested person of the fact that refusal to permit the test would result in suspension of his or her license or driving privilege and that testing above the alcohol concentration level specified in RSA 265-A:2 or RSA 265-A:3 would also result in suspension.

The key is to remember that the DWI suspension, and the administrative license suspension, are two separate suspensions.  Additionally, if you refused to take the blood or breath test, then this will likely result in a longer license suspension.

Call for a Free Consultation.  603-836-6715