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Habitual Traffic Offenders in New Hampshire

January 14, 2016

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Researched and Prepared by: Attorney Amy Manchester for Bowser Law

A habitual traffic offender can be either a resident of New Hampshire or an out-of-state resident. If your driving record reflects that you have accumulated a certain amount or combination of both major and minor motor vehicle violations over a period of five years, you will become a habitual traffic offender.

A driver will be certified as a habitual traffic offender if he or she has been convicted of three major motor vehicle violations over a five-year period. You may be wondering, what is a “major” motor vehicle violation? New Hampshire has a long list of traffic violations that are considered to be “major” for the purposes of certification as a habitual traffic offender. Major motor vehicle violations include but are not limited to Driving While Intoxicated, Reckless Driving, Driving After Suspension, Negligent Operation and Transportation of a Controlled Substance. A full list of major motor vehicle violations can be found in NH RSA 259:39(I)(a-v).

A driver will also be certified as a habitual traffic offender if he or she has been convicted of twelve minor motor vehicle violations over a five-year period. Minor motor vehicle violations are a shorter list and include speeding. A full list of minor motor vehicle violations can be found in NH RSA 259:39(II)(a-d).

If a driver’s record shows that he or she has been convicted of a combination of 1 major motor vehicle violation and 8 minor violations over a period of five years, that person will be certified as a habitual traffic offender. Additionally, if a driver has been convicted of a combination of 2 major motor vehicle violations and 4 minor violations over a period of five years, that driver can also be certified as a habitual traffic offender.

If a driver is certified as a Habitual Traffic Offender, he will face a period of suspension ranging from one to four years. A habitual traffic offender is able to restore his license but must petition the Department of Motor Vehicles after the period of suspension has ended.

If a driver is certified as a Habitual Traffic Offender and drives during the period of suspension, he can face 1-5 years of incarceration and a fine up to $4,000.00.

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