8 Jul. 2013

Demerit Points and Your New Hampshire License

Posted By Shaheen & Gordon

If you were cited for a traffic offense, you'll likely be facing the possibility of demerit points against your New Hampshire driver's license. The demerit point system in our state assigns different numbers of points to different types of traffic offenses. 12 points against your license can result in a three month suspension of your driving privileges. While some traffic offenses such as improper passing will warrant less than six points, not enough to constitute a suspension, some offenses such as DWI will warrant automatic suspension.

Anyone that receives demerit points against their license can contest the citation in order to get those points dropped. These hearings are administrative hearings at the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles. If you have been arrested for drunk driving and you were issued six demerit points, you face three months of license suspension. If you take quick action, you can obtain a NH DWI attorney from our firm to defend you at the administrative hearing. The goal at this hearing would be to call the evidence into question to get your administrative penalties reduced or dismissed completely.

Suspension periods become lengthier the more demerit points are on your record. The DMV also takes into consideration the length of time between your citations. For example, 12 points earned against your license within one year (12 months) will warrant a three month suspension while 18 points within two calendar years (24 months) will warrant up to six months of suspension.

Demerit points also mean different things depending on the age of the individual to whom they are issued. For example, any driver under the age of 18 years old can face up to three months' suspension with just six points in one calendar year. For drivers aged 18-21, it would take them nine demerit points to earn the same length of driver's license suspension.

All drivers must take into consideration that it is not only prior DWIs that can make subsequent DWI administrative penalties more severe. Any prior traffic citation has the potential to lengthen the period of license suspension for a DWI offender. For example, 24 demerit points within three calendar years can warrant up to one year of suspension.

Say an individual recently was charged with a DWI which is six points, but they also had a "transporting drugs in a vehicle" citation (6 points), a "disobeying a police officer" citation (6 points) and a "road racing" offense (6 points) within the past three years. With these three prior offenses within the past three years, a DWI would put that individual at risk for losing their driving privileges for up to one year. To learn more about DWIs and other traffic offenses that could warrant license suspension, contact a NH DWI lawyer at our firm today!

Categories: DWI
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