OLR Research Report

September 30, 2003




By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Analyst

suspended violation results in a 10-point assessment. If a fatality results while the person was driving while suspended for one of the designated criminal offenses, the suspension must be for one year in addition to the suspensions resulting from any accumulated points (Vt. Rev. Stat. T. 23 2506).

Driving while under suspension is a misdemeanor in New Hampshire if it was for (1) reckless driving, (2) driving under the influence of alcohol or a related offense, (3) negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, or (4) if there has been a prior conviction for driving under suspension within the preceding seven years. Otherwise it is considered a misdemeanor. For the alcohol-related and negligent homicide suspensions, the violator must serve at least seven consecutive 24-hour periods in prison within six months of conviction, be fined up to $ 1,000, and have his license revoked for an additional year. For regular misdemeanor driving under suspension, the judge can determine whether it will be classified as a Class A or a Class B misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a fine of up to $ 2,000, up to one year imprisonment, or both. The penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is a fine of up to $ 1,200. No period of incarceration or probation may be assessed, but the court may sentence the person to a conditional or unconditional discharge, which can include monitoring by the Department of Corrections.

Once it receives a report of a conviction for driving while suspended for one of these offenses, the motor vehicle registry must suspend the person's license for any additional term it deems appropriate, but in no case for less than three months. For a second conviction, the additional suspension must be for at least six additional months and for any subsequent conviction the license is revoked. Also, the law prohibits the registry from issuing a new license to any person who has had his license suspended or revoked under this law for one additional year from the date he would have otherwise been entitled to apply for a new license (G. L. of R. I, 31-11-18. 1).

certain law violations as well. Licenses may be suspended by municipal magistrates and judges, supreme court justices, county judges, district court judges, the superintendent of state police, and the commissioner of motor vehicles.