Driver Arrested for 3rd Offense OUI with Ignition Interlock Device

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reported yesterday that a repeat DUI offender was just arrested in Pelham, New Hampshire for a 3rd offense OUI charge while he was operating a motor vehicle which was equipped with an ignition interlock device. According to police, John T. LeVasseur was “all over the road.” He was reported to be highly intoxicated and he was arrested after he failed field sobriety evaluations and police found marijuana and empty booze bottles in his motor vehicle.

It remains unclear how LeVasseur was able to start and operate his vehicle in such an intoxicated condition. The ignition interlock device will not allow a vehicle to start if the driver’s blood alcohol content is at or above .02. Also, the driver is required to take rolling re-tests at random periodic intervals, while the vehicle’s engine is running. The driver claims that he blew into the IID and it allowed him to start the vehicle. The case is still under investigation and the Registry of Motor Vehicles will be able to receive the alcohol readings downloaded from the ignition interlock device.

In addition to any New Hampshire license revocations that LeVasseur faces, he will face an additional Massachusetts license suspension for violating the ignition interlock section of Melanie’s Law if he is found to have circumvented or tampered with the IID. Also, if he failed rolling re-tests or had someone else blow into the device so that he could start his vehicle, he will face an additional long-term license revocation for the ignition interlock violation.

New Hampshire DUI Questions & Answers

Question: I received a DUI in the State of New Hampshire in October of 2012. I am moving to Massachusetts and am looking to find out how to get my license back, so I do not lose my job.

Answer: MassDOT will not issue you a Massachusetts driver’s license if your license or right to operate is under suspension or revocation in any other state. Without this requirement, drunk drivers could simply move around to avoid mandatory DUI license suspensions. In order to get a license in Massachusetts, you must first fully reinstate your New Hampshire license. Once you have done this, the New Hampshire DMV will remove the hold in the Problem Driver Pointer System of the National Driver Register and you can convert your New Hampshire license to a Massachusetts License.

Question: second dui out of state …I am here in Massachusetts working for several months and have been abiding by the law and not driving and taking cab to and from work, which is getting expensive and tedious….Can I get a hardship license here while I am working?

Can a person with dui working here from another state get a temp hardship license?….I have and will be here working for quite a while and a cab to and from work is getting cumbersome NOT to mention expensive.

Answer: No. You must be a resident of Massachusetts to get a Massachusetts Driver’s License. Also, the Registry will check you in the National Driver Register and the RMV will not issue you a Massachusetts license of any kind, including a hardship license, while your license or right to drive is suspended or revoked in any other state. If it were not for this rule, convicted drunk drivers and habitual traffic offenders could move from state to state to avoid license suspensions.

Question: I received a mandatory 6 month administrative license loss in NH for declining a breath test. The fact that the cop arrested me for DUI was bogus and the case never went to trial. Nevertheless, the administrative penalty for denying the breath test (which I understand is acceptable without penalty in MA) still stands and caught up with me in MA (received a letter from the RMV the other week). I have an important job for a national organization that requires me to be able to legally drive and public transportation is not a strong option. I also am a former Army officer with a distinguished service record. From my view, I have a lot on my working in my favor that should make a hardship license easy to come by.

Answer: Unfortunately, unlike Massachusetts, the State of New Hampshire does not issue hardship licenses. Therefore, you cannot get a hardship license in Massachusetts while your right to operate is suspended or revoked in the State of New Hampshire. If the New Hampshire DUI arrest resulted in a conviction, you would have an additional suspension in Massachusetts for being convicted of DUI in New Hampshire. You could be considered for a hardship license for that suspension. Also, in some cases, it is possible to get the 1 year out of state DUI suspension reduced to 45 days.

Alcohol Program Completion Certificates in NH DUI Cases

If you are a Massachusetts resident or driver and you are convicted of driving under the influence in the State of New Hampshire, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license as a result of the NH DUI conviction. Once you have served the required suspension time and you are clear with the Department of Motor Vehicles in New Hampshire, you can be considered for a Massachusetts Hardship License. However, in order to be considered for a hardship license, both the Massachusetts RMV and Board of Appeal will require proof of completion of an alcohol program.

Several hardship license clients have reported that certain New Hampshire DUI Alcohol Program providers will not release these certificates to them under any circumstances. Instead, they send the certificates to the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles and, supposedly, the Massachusetts Registry. The problem with this system is that the Suspensions Section of the Massachusetts Registry is not equipped to receive unsolicited documents in this matter. Instead, the Registry requires that customers hand deliver the documents to a Massachusetts Registry Hearings Officer as part of a hardship license hearing. This places the Massachusetts Driver who has a New Hampshire DUI in a difficult “catch-22” situation. The NH Alcohol Program refuses to provide the document that the Massachusetts Registry requires.

Fortunately, you may be able to use a NH DMV Form 505 (PDF) to obtain a copy of the alcohol program completion certificate from the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles of the NH Department of Public Safety. You can submit this form to the DMV specifically requesting that you be provided with a copy of the completion certificate which the alcohol program provider submitted to the DMV. You can then submit the certificate to a Massachusetts Registry Hearings Officer, or Board of Appeal, in support of your hardship license application.

If you are facing a DUI license suspension and you need a hardship license, contact me for a free consultation and review of your license suspension. However, please note that you cannot get any type of license in Massachusetts, including a hardship license, unless you have been cleared to drive by the NH DMV. You cannot get any license in Massachusetts while a New Hampshire suspension is in effect and New Hampshire does not issue any type of hardship, limited, or work license.