New Hampshire Breath Test Refusal
Many people are unaware that they can automatically lose their driver’s license for not only testing over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit, but for refusing to take the breathalyzer test if they are arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI). If you are currently facing a license suspension for your New Hampshire breath test refusal, you should immediately contact a skilled DWI defense attorney to fight for your driving privileges.
It may seem strange that an administrative agency of the government can take away your license—especially before you are convicted of DWI. However, the state’s Implied Consent law, which you automatically agreed to when you received your driver’s license, makes it a violation to refuse the breathalyzer test if the arresting officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol.
For a first breath test refusal, your license may be automatically suspended 30 days after the date of your arrest for a period of 180 days. For a second offense, the suspension period is increased to two years.
You do have the right to request an administrative license suspension hearing with the Department of Safety in an effort to appeal your license suspension. Because this can be a complicated process, you should consider hiring a DWI defense attorney to help you file the request, obtain proof that it was received on time, and represent you during the hearing.
Some people may refuse to take the breath test because they believe that they cannot be charged with a DWI offense without this evidence; however, this is not true. New Hampshire’s common-law DWI allows a prosecutor to charge a person with drunk driving if the officer has evidence of his or her impairment. This may include observations regarding driving patterns, behavior, appearance, and performance on the field sobriety tests.
If you are charged with a breath test refusal, there a number of potential defense that can be used on your behalf. For example, the officer is required to inform you of the Implied Consent law and the penalties you may receive for refusing to take the test. If he or she did not warn you, your attorney may use this information to help your case.