David: My name is David Horan. I handle criminal defense work in New Hampshire. I appear before the Division of Motor Vehicles on the Bureau of Hearings with that agency on a regular basis. We’re talking about matters concerning DMV today.
Interviewer: Here’s my first question. If I were to get charged of DWI or another traffic violation, where does the DMV come into play?
If You Are Arrested for DWI and the Results of Your Breath or Blood Test Is over the Legal Limit, Your License Is Suspended and You CAN Request a Hearing at the DMV
David: If the police were to request a blood or a breath test after your arrest and if you were to register with an illegal level of alcohol, then they would request that your license be suspended. This is because of the illegal level of alcohol in your system.
If You Refuse to Undergo a Breath or Blood Test, Your License Is Suspended and You Can Request a Hearing
Subsequently, you would then be able to request and receive a hearing with the DMV. If you were to refuse to submit to a breath test or a blood test, they also could request that your license be suspended. You would be able to request an administrative hearing regarding that. That’s one set of circumstances.
If You Accumulate Too Many Points on Your License, a Hearing Is Scheduled Regarding a License Suspension
Another set of circumstances where you might end up ending up going to Motor Vehicles for an administrative hearing would be if you were to accumulate an excessive number of demerit points during a certain time frame. In that case, you would get a notice inviting you to go to Concorde headquarters of the DMV for a hearing whether your license ought to be suspended or not.
Medical Reasons Can Render You an Unfit Driver and DMV Would Consider Revoking Your License
If someone were to provide information to the DMV that you were unfit to drive, for example, for medical reasons then you could end up being summoned up there for a hearing for medical reasons. If you were to accumulate an excessive number of major motor vehicle violations, they would invite you up for a hearing to determine whether you’re a habitual offender. If you are under age 20 and had a motor vehicle violation, they would also invite you up for a hearing.
There are basically five different types of hearings that you might end up attending. There are more, for example, you also have fatal accident hearings.
You Must Request a Hearing with the DMV within 30 Days
Interviewer: What are the major differences between a court case and a DMV case?
David: A DMV case, first of all, you don’t get a hearing up at the Department of Safety Bureau of Hearings unless you ask for it. This is what will occur in a DWI situation: If you take the test and fail or you refuse the test, the law enforcement officer would physically take your license away. He gives you the pink copy of the form that he is required to read to you before requesting the blood or breath test.
The license and the white copy would go up to the Bureau of Hearings. Shortly thereafter you would get suspended for six months if it was a first offense or for two years if it were a subsequent offense. You have to ask for the hearing within 30 days. If you do not, you’ll never get the hearing.
If you do ask for the hearing, then the hearing notice will be issued and you will have to go up to the Bureau of Hearings. When you request the hearing, you would have to request that the police officer involved be present, otherwise they won’t attend.