Support our education reporting.

The first $10,000 donated will be matched by national nonprofit Report for America. All money raised will go directly to salary and benefits for the Monitor’s education reporter through the summer of 2022. The Monitor remains committed to the principles of truth, democracy and trust.

N.H. House passes ban on police sobriety checkpoints

  • Lt. Greg Ferry interviews a motorist during a sobriety checkpoint in Bow. N.H. State Police

Monitor staff
Published: 2/22/2018 2:35:04 PM

House representatives passed a bill banning the use of “sobriety checkpoints” by state and local police departments Thursday, following long-running criticism that the practice is unconstitutional and ineffective.

House Bill 1283, which passed by voice vote and without debate, would end a practice in place since 2003, in which police departments block off stretches of roads and detain drivers to observe sobriety. Critics have said the stops, which don’t require probable cause, are excessive and ineffective. A 2017 review by the Monitor found that fewer than 1 percent of drivers stopped since 2006 were charged with driving while intoxicated.

For years, the practice has been prohibited under state law unless the departments obtain a Superior Court order in advance – the new bill would strike the exception for judicial orders, effectively banning sobriety checkpoints altogether.

The floor vote came after a divided committee recommended, 12-8, to move the bill ahead. Police departments have strongly opposed the law, calling the checkpoints an important, visible tool to combat drunken driving.

(Ethan DeWitt can be reached at edewitt@cmonitor.com, or on Twitter at @edewittNH.)



Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy