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Hardship Driver’s Licenses

Until last year, you were just out of luck if your driver’s license was suspended because of a driving under the influence conviction. It didn’t matter if driving was the only way you could get to work in order to keep your job. It didn’t matter if you need to take a sick family member to the doctor. If your driver’s license was suspended, you couldn’t legally driver. Period.

But that all changed on Jan. 1, 2016, when a new law went into effect in New Hampshire. It allows someone who’s been convicted of DUI/DWI to ask the court for a restricted driver’s license. This can happen once you’ve served 45 days of court-ordered suspension. It’s spelled out in RSA 263:57-b.

DWI attorney Michael Anzalone can help you apply for a hardship, or restricted, driver’s license.

How do I Qualify for a Restricted Driver’s License:

First, a judge has to approve your request. To qualify, this must be your first non-aggravated DWI and it should not have involved a commercial vehicle. You’ll have to obtain SR-22 insurance, which is a high-risk policy.

Next, you must meet any of the following criteria that your DWI lawyer can help you with. These include:

  • You must operate a vehicle as a requisite of the your occupation.
  • You must operate a vehicle to seek employment or to get to and from your workplace.
  • You need to operate a vehicle to get to and from an alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation program.
  • You need to take someone in your immediate family to get medical treatment on a regular basis.
  • You need to drive to classes to continue your education.
  • You need to drive to a location to get training for a job.

You will need proof from your employer, doctor or school as part of the application process.

If your hardship license is approved, you must notify local law enforcement agency that you have the restricted driving privilege and you are required to keep a copy of the judge’s order in your vehicle. Also you can only operate a vehicle that has been equipped with an interlock device, which is a breath machine that tests for alcohol. This typically costs the driver about $100 a month.

In addition, there will be other restrictions on your driving privileges. For example you may only be allowed to drive on certain days, or between certain hours. And you can only go to the places that have been specified by the court.

The judge will also determine how long the restricted license will be restored.

Again, DWI attorney Michael Anzalone can help determine whether you’re are eligible for a restricted, or hardship, license. He’ll also help you fill out the application form, which must be submitted as a first-step in this process.

What Happens if I Violate the Orders?

Any violation of the restricted license will cause the license to be revoked.

If you drive outside the times allowed or to places that aren’t specified on your court order, you’ll be subject to the same penalties as someone who drives after a suspended license. This includes seven days in jail, an additional year loss of your driving privileges and a mandatory interlock system on your vehicle.

Please call The Anzalone Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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