According to CDC research, 130 million Americans drink and drive at least once a year. Every year, nearly one million people are detained for driving under the influence. In addition, every day, about 30 people are killed in drunk driving accidents. Following a DUI conviction in New Hampshire, individuals convicted of impaired driving/boating offenses are required to participate in a New Hampshire approved Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP). For DUI classes in NH, go here.
New Hampshire statistics are also concerning. The Granite State has about 5,000 DUI arrests per year, which is more than the national average on a per capital basis. The state takes DWI very seriously. Some barriers make it difficult to obtain your license restored once you’ve been arrested and lost your license (based on the specifics of your case).
Lawmakers believe that those who drive while intoxicated are likely to do so again. Therefore, license suspension is a typical penalty for intoxicated drivers to deter repeat violations while also punishing them for previous bad behavior. In addition, if a suspect exhibits any aggravating characteristics, such as traveling at a high speed, or having a very high blood alcohol content, then they risk an even higher loss of license.
Mandatory license suspension for drivers aged 21 and up for non-aggravated cases (the consequences are even more serious for underage drivers)
- The first infraction carries a sentence of nine months to two years in prison.
- The second offense within ten years is a three year loss of license
- Finally, there is the concept of a lifetime suspension for serious repeat offfenders (application for reinstatement will be allowed after five years)
Note that the above penalties do not include an additional loss of license that is imposed by DMV for refusing a breath or blood test, or testing over the legal limit.
Your driving license has an impact on your life.
If you lost your license due to a DUI, you’re probably worried about how you’ll get by. You must drive to work, shop for food, transport your children to school, and attend medical appointments. As a result, your livelihood is dependent on your driver’s license.
The sanctions in New Hampshire are serious. However, there are legal options available to you if your license has been suspended. Requesting an administrative hearing, usually sent within 30 days of your suspension, is your first option. This allows you to appeal the immediate loss of license (known as the “administrative license suspension”) based on a refusal of the breath or blood test, or testing over the legal limit.
You can challenge the legality of your arrest at the administrative suspension hearing. For example, was the cop justified in stopping your vehicle? Was there a reasonable suspicion that warranted testing? Have you had the police read your rights to you? Did an illegal search and seizure influence your arrest? These are the kinds of elements that could make your DUI arrest unconstitutional or illegal
However, you will not be allowed to make an argument for why the administrative license suspension should be removed. Your administrative license suspension could be lifted only if there were no legal grounds for the arrest.
You should also be aware that the outcome of these hearings will have no bearing on your criminal case and you may still receive a loss of license at a later time if found guilty by the judge.
DUI Classes in NH
If convicted of DUI in court, you must meet specific requirements in order to regain your driver’s license. You must take action to have your license restored after it has been suspended. You will required to complete a number of tasks, including the following:
- Screening for alcohol and drug abuse (if the screening determines abuse issues, you might have to undergo substance abuse counseling)
- Driver education programs managed by the Department of Health and Human Services (you will be required to submit a certificate of completion)
- Fees for administrative services
- Documentation for insurance (proving you are insured to drive)
- In some cases you will have to install an ignition interlock device
Reinstatement of a DWI License
The required screening and treatment program is known as the IDCM (“The Impaired Driver Care Management” Program) Anyone whose license has been revoked or suspended as a result of a DWI must first undergo an alcohol and drug addiction screening process to discover if they have any substance misuse issues before having their license reinstated. If the results suggest that substance addiction treatment is recommended, the offender must complete a driver education program administrated by the Department of Health and Human Services. To have their license reinstated, they must submit a certificate of completion of this course.
Before a DWI offender’s license can be reinstated, they must complete driver education and pay all administrative fees. Before a license can be reactivated in New Hampshire, fees must be paid, and proof of financial responsibility must be provided. Furthermore, if a person is found not guilty of DUI, their license will be restored without further issues.