Almost all DWI cases in New Hampshire involve two separate proceedings:
- Prosecution for a criminal case in Court
- An Administrative License Suspension (ALS) proceeding in the Department of Safety
Each of these proceedings jeopardizes your right to drive in NH. When you hire Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC, one fixed fee covers defense of both proceedings. Contact us for a free consultation about this service.
Please note: you have a right to a hearing on whether your administrative license suspension is valid, but you must request such a hearing within thirty days of either your arrest (if you refused a breath test or blew over the legal limit) or of receipt of your notice of suspension (if you a blood alcohol test was performed).
Will My License be Suspended if I'm Charged for DWI?
An ALS is either a 180 day, or 2 year, suspension of your driver’s license or privilege to drive. An ALS is NOT dependent on whether you are found guilty in Court. An ALS may proceed even if you are found innocent in Court.
An ALS will commence if:
- You ‘refused’ to submit to a post-arrest chemical test (breath, blood, or urine), OR
- You submitted to one and it showed an alcohol concentration of .08 or more for a blood test, or .09 or more for a breath test, or .02 or more if you are under age 21
If you submitted to a post-arrest breath test, you already know your test result. The official result of your breath test appears on the pink Intoxilyzer 5000 Test Record that should have been given to you by the police prior to your release from custody. The official result is the number that appears to the right of “REPORTED VALUE.”
If you submitted to a blood test, you will be notified by certified mail of the results of that test by means of a letter from the State of New Hampshire forwarded to you by the law enforcement agency that arrested you. It make take four to eight weeks, or more, for you to receive the results of your blood test, even longer if the police ask that your sample be tested for controlled drugs.
Note for out-of-state license holders:
Out-of-state license holders should take special note that your home state may revoke your license in your home state as a direct consequence of the actions of the NH Department of Safety.
You do have a right to a hearing on whether the suspension is valid, but you must request such a hearing within thirty days, or forever lose the right to such a hearing, and will suffer a license loss of either 180 days or two years, depending on your motor vehicle history. The thirty days begins to run on the date of your arrest, if you either refused to take a test or you took a breath test showing an alcohol concentration at or over the legal limit. If you took a blood test, you will have about thirty days from the date you receive a notice of suspension from the New Hampshire Motor Department of Safety. The notice will be sent to you shortly after the arresting department sends you notice of the results of your blood test analysis.
At the hearing, the arresting officer and chemical test operator (if a different person) must appear, testify under oath, subject themselves to cross-examination, and submit certain critical documents. Many police officers who appear at the Department of Safety for ALS proceedings have little or no experience presenting cases in that forum, and have no prosecuting lawyer to assist them at the hearing. (Sadly, we’ve seen clients appear for a hearing with a lawyer that has even less experience than the rookie police officer.)
Even police officers that have appeared frequently at Department of Safety, however, sometimes lose their hearings because the Hearings Examiners do hold them to a burden of proof based on the “preponderance of the evidence.” That burden is far less onerous than the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Nevertheless, to provide a few examples, Ted Lothstein has had cases where the client prevailed in the ALS hearing despite
- Blowing a 0.15 breath test at the time of arrest (nearly twice the legal limit)
- Providing a 0.15 blood test at the time of arrest
- Driving a company vehicle, with a prior DWI conviction
- “Booking video” captures client’s appearance, movements and speech on film
One Fixed Fee for Defense of Both New Hampshire DWI and ALS Proceedings
Contact Lothstein Guerriero for a free, confidential consultation about representation for DWI and ALS defense. Complete our online information form, chat now with a representative by clicking on the live chat button, or call our offices in Keene (603) 352-5000 or Concord (603) 513-1919. Evening and weekend appointments are available.