NH Cinderella License – In 2016, New Hampshire started to allow people convicted of a first-offense DUI to drive subject to certain limited driving privileges. The common name for this is a “Cinderella” or “hardship” license. It means that people can drive to meet certain obligations during the day but is prohibited from driving for any other reason.
Who can get them?
Only people with certain types of convictions are considered for the limited license or Cinderella license. If you are found guilty (by plea or trial) of any aggravated, felony or subsequent offense, you will not be considered. That leaves only the people who are convicted of misdemeanor first-offense DUI. Of those people, only those whose convictions did not involve driving a commercial vehicle will be considered. If you haven’t been excluded by anything, you can go on to the next question.
What are you allowed to do with a limited license?
Once you know whether you qualify for the program, you have to convince the court that you need it. There is a defined list of uses for a car that are permissible “needs” for this program. Those driving privileges are limited to using a car:
- as a requirement for your job;
- to seek employment, or get back and forth from a job or job training;
- to get back and forth from drug or alcohol treatment;
- to get yourself or an immediate family member back and forth from medical treatment required on a regular basis; or
- to continue your education.
Here’s the catch: You can’t just hop in the car and drive yourself to work, school, or a doctor’s appointment; you have to prove each one to a judge before you start driving. Part of the application process will involve getting a letter from an employer, school, or medical treatment provider stating that it’s necessary to drive. That will be submitted to the court and you will have to wait to get approval from the judge. Once you get that, you will have to keep it on you, or somewhere in your car, at all times.
Any other strings attached?
Yes. Before any of this can be approved, you will need to contact your insurance company and get an SR-22, which is a special form of insurance. If you’ve been convicted of DUI, you’ll be required to get this anyway as a condition of reinstating your license.
But there’s more: anyone who signs up for a limited driving privilege can only drive in a car with an “enhanced technology alcohol interlock device.” That’s a machine that tests your breath for alcohol before you start the car and can take your picture while you give the sample. Once your license is fully restored, you will have to keep an interlock device in your car for the following year.
How do I get one?
If your conviction qualifies for the program, you have to fill out this form and provide satisfactory proof of your need for the privileges. That proof must come from an employer, program, medical treatment facility, state-approved educational institution, or other destination. In other words, it will generally not be enough for you to write a letter to yourself. You will also have to wait until you’ve served 45 days of actual license loss before your limited driving privileges can kick in.
If you have not been convicted, you will need to negotiate a sentence that allows for it. We can help. Navigating the DUI laws can be exhausting. You should find experienced counsel to ensure that you’re taking advantage of all programs available to you. To get started, call Jared Bedrick at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.