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New Hampshire Administrative License Suspensions

Any New Hampshire driver who drives or operates a motorized vehicle in the state of New Hampshire has given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if they are arrested for a New Hampshire DUI. Chemical testing can include a test of the driver’s blood, breath or urine and may be administered by a law enforcement officer. Prior to the chemical test the officer should notify the driver of their right to additional DUI testing and the consequences of a refusal to submit to the test. If the driver refuses to submit to the chemical testing this information can be used as admissible evidence in the New Hampshire driver’s DUI case. What if the driver is either unconscious or unable to refuse the test? According to New Hampshire state law they are “deemed to not have withdrawn consent to chemical testing.”

Refusing a New Hampshire Chemical Test after a DUI Arrest

Drivers who refuse the chemical test will not be forced to take the chemical test but their license will be suspended. See below for more information. First DUI Offense refusal The driver may have their license suspended automatically for 180 days. If the driver was a commercial driver their license is automatically suspended for one year. Refusal with prior DWI Conviction or Refusal The driver may have their license suspended for 2 years. If the driver was a commercial driver their license is automatically suspended for 10 years.

Administrative License Suspension Process

After the chemical test refusal, the officer will serve notice of the suspension to the driver. The suspension will take effect 30 days from the date of the arrest. The driver will have their license confiscated by the police officer and it will be sent, with the DUI arrest report, to the department. The driver should be issued a temporary license permit which will allow them to drive for 30 days.

Challenging the Administrative License Suspension

So can a driver challenge the Administrative License Suspension? Yes, the driver can request an administrative hearing to fight the license suspension. All requests for hearings must be done in writing within 30 days from the date of the notice of suspension. The letter for the hearing should detail why the suspension should be revoked. If the driver fails to make the hearing request in time, they lose their right to challenge the suspension. If the administrative hearing is granted the hearing is generally held within 20 days after the request filing. Drivers may indicate whether or not they would like for the arresting officer to be present. If the officer is required to attend the hearing but does not appear, without good cause, the case may be dismissed and the order rescinded. Drivers must appear at the hearing or their license will be automatically suspended, without consideration.

What is the court considering in a New Hampshire Administrative License Suspension?

The issues the court will consider are limited to the following issues: (a) 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, boat, or OHRV while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics, or drugs; (b) The facts upon which the reasonable grounds to believe such are based; (c) Whether the person had been arrested; (d) 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 0.02 or more if under 21); (e) 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 (f) 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 would also result in suspension. Following the hearing the examiner will issue their recommendation for whether the driver’s license should be suspended or not. The recommendation is considering binding unless the driver files an appeal within 10 days. If an appeal is made by either the driver or law enforcement a review will done by a director who will make their determination within 10 days which will either grant a new hearing or affirm the previous ruling by the examiner.