Since driving is a privilege and not a right, states can impose certain restrictions and regulations upon drivers. In New Hampshire, one of these regulations is the Implied Consent Law. Essentially, when you accept a license to drive from the state of New Hampshire, you are automatically consenting to comply with a variety of actions by the state, and one of them is to submit to a chemical alcohol test upon request by law enforcement.
What is a Chemical Alcohol Test?
The chemical alcohol test involves the examination of breath, blood or urine for the presence of alcohol. These tests may be administered during a traffic stop, or they may be taken at a police station, sheriff’s office or hospital. In order for a law enforcement official to order the test, he or she must have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Some things that may cause this reasonable suspicion are erratic driving, odor of alcohol on the driver, open alcoholic beverage containers in the vehicle and slurred speech.
What if You Refuse the Test?
As mentioned, due to the implied consent that you give when you accept your New Hampshire license, you have already claimed that you will comply with taking a chemical alcohol test. If you refuse the test, your license to drive will be automatically suspended for 180 days. If you have previously refused to submit to a chemical alcohol test or if you have a previous DWI conviction, your license will be automatically suspended for two years. This is known as an Administrative License Suspension, or ALS.
What Should You Do if You’ve Requested an ALS?
Upon requesting an ALS, you may still be taken to a police station and booked for violating the Implied Consent Law. If this occurs, you need to request an Administrative License Suspension hearing. An ALS hearing will allow you to explain why you chose to refuse the chemical alcohol test, and you can request such a hearing through the Department of Safety on your own or with the assistance of a DWI lawyer.
The Benefits of a New Hampshire DWI Attorney
According to our New Hampshire DWI lawyers, their collective experience and presence is invaluable during an ALS hearing. A DWI attorney will be able to meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case, and he or she can then represent your interests before a judge. Due to the complexity of the legal system and the courtroom process, this can be a huge help in explaining why your actions were justified and why your license should not be suspended. Furthermore, they can investigate your case from all aspects, not just for the interests of law enforcement.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the best way to avoid a DWI or ALS altogether is to never drink and drive. If you’ve had too much to drink, you should call a sober friend to pick you up, call a cab or take public transportation. While this may seem inconvenient at the time, you can protect your safety, the safety of others and your license to drive.
Krista Langford is a DWI law advocate and a contributing writer for the law experts of Tenn and Tenn, P.A.. These New Hampshire DWI lawyers provide their clients excellent DWI/DUI defense in the court of law, and they will try everything within the power of the law to work toward a potential dismissal of your case. Consult these attorneys for the best possible outcome!