How New Hampshire DUI and DWI Law Affects Commercial Driver’s Licenses

If you or someone you care about is charged with a DWI in New Hampshire and holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL), this is a case that presents unique perils to the accused.

Mandatory One-Year Suspension for First-Time Offender

Under federal regulations, which are implemented in New Hampshire by the Department of Safety, a CDL holder will face a one-year suspension upon any of the following “offenses,” which are really “events,” since most of them do not require a court conviction:

  • An ALS suspension, upheld after hearing, for refusal of breath test while operating any motor vehicle, personal or commercial
  • An ALS suspension, upheld after hearing, for a test over .08 (breath tests, any motor vehicle)
  • An ALS suspension, upheld after hearing, for a test at or over .08 (blood tests, any motor vehicle)
  • An ALS suspension, upheld after hearing, for a test at or over .04 (commercial vehicles only)
  • A conviction for DWI by a NH court
  • A conviction for “Conduct after an Accident” (leaving the scene or not reporting an accident, in a personal or commercial vehicle) by a NH Court

No Conviction Required for CDL Suspension

You may have noticed that most of the ways that a CDL holder can suffer a one-year loss don’t even require a conviction. For example, you can be acquitted of DWI, but still lose the CDL for one year upon an upheld administrative suspension for refusal of breath test.

Lifetime CDL Revocation

A CDL holder, who faces a NH DWI or DWI-related administrative suspension or Conduct after Accident as described above, faces a lifetime revocation of CDL if he or she has a prior “offense” in the list described above.

Other Suspensions for CDL Holders

  • Two “serious traffic violations” in a 3 year period mandate a 60 day suspension of CDL
  • Three “serious traffic violations” in a 3 year period while driving a commercial vehicle, mandate a 120 day suspension of CDL

“Serious Traffic Violations”

These are defined to include speeding greater than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, reckless driving, and other offenses.

An Experienced, Aggressive New Hampshire DWI Attorney can Help

Despite all the perils facing a CDL-holder charged with DWI or Conduct after an Accident in NH, our DWI attorneys have had success representing CDL holders. In several cases, we have saved our client’s CDL by avoiding administrative suspension and avoiding a qualifying conviction. However, these are extremely difficult cases because the only way to save client’s CDL is to prevail both in Court – where the prosecution faces a high burden of proof — and to prevail in the Department of Safety, where the prosecution faces a very low burden of proof.

Our Promise

If you have a pending DWI case and are not already working with another lawyer, we promise the following:

  • We will provide a free 30 minute consultation.
  • We will listen to you and your concerns, not just talk about ourselves.
  • We will tell you the strategies we will employ to try to save your driver’s license or CDL.
  • We will always be candid with you about your prospects. If another lawyer seems to be “telling you what you want to hear,” that is a tell-tale sign that they want your money, not your trust.

If you already are working with a lawyer, whether retained or court-appointed, we will do a paid consultation in some instances, but not a free consultation.

How to Schedule a Consultation

To schedule a consultation, just fill out the contact form on this website, or call us.

We often answer our phones at night or on the weekend, and if we can’t, we strive to call you back within hours of your call. We know that our client’s misfortunes usually don’t happen during business hours, and we know that people need to obtain information from a caring and knowledgeable professional as soon as possible, and so we do our best to help our clients and prospective clients throughout the week, not just during business hours.