Interviewer: You mentioned that a police officer has to be requested to attend the hearing, would that be beneficial to the case?
David: The police officer will send up ALS form, which is something which he signed and which the client has signed, sometimes they refuse to sign and that’s noted. Basically, it lists the so-called rights that you have.
These rights include: The right to a second sample; right to an independent test of your own choosing; warning that if you refuse, that you’ll be suspended; and a warning that if you test over the legal limit you’ll be suspended.
The so-called ALS rights are explained. That’s on the form. Thereby, that paper goes up to Concorde and if the police for whatever reason forget to send it or they send it up late, then the administrative suspension never happens.
What generally happens is that between five to 10 days from the client’s date of arrest they get the letter from DMV announcing their license has been suspended as of 30 days after the arrest at 12:01am. It will note that the license has been suspended for six months or two years, whether it’s a first offense or a second offense.
It Is Advisable to Retain an Attorney to Contest the Pending License Suspension
People that don’t get a lawyer probably don’t understand the significance of a letter. They don’t appreciate the fact that they’re entitled to a hearing and they end up being saddled with what the administrative suspension letter says. People that retain a lawyer have an opportunity to contest it and to try to have the suspension vacated.
A Hearings Examiner Conducts the Administrative DMV Hearing
Interviewer: Who would have the ultimate say at the hearing?
David: The ultimate say at the Bureau of Hearings is the hearings examiner. This is another difference between a trial in the court and the administrative hearing. The trial in the court is done by a judge. The judge is appointed for life in New Hampshire. The judge is not affiliated with any law enforcement agencies.
The Hearings Officer Is an Employee of the Department of Safety, Which Oversees the Division of Motor Vehicles
The administrative hearings officer is an employee of the Department of Safety. The Department of Safety has the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of State Police, and the Bureau of Hearings. It’s a law enforcement oriented building. The person doing the hearing is an employee of the Department of Safety.
In theory, they review the cases based on the evidence that’s presented to them but in terms of their personal history and background, they’re more comfortable, if you will, with law enforcement types.
What Is Explained on the ALS Form?
Interviewer: Can you explain what the ALS form covers?
David: When the client is arrested, they get the pink copy of the form they signed when they were asked to take the breath or blood test. The result of the test is noted or if it’s refused, that’s noted as well. On the back side of the form, there are about seven paragraphs of “legalese