NH DWI Roadblocks (Sobriety Checkpoints)
May 28, 2015
In 1997, the New Hampshire Legislature enacted RSA 265:1-a, which authorized state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct sobriety checkpoints. Also known as DWI roadblocks, these checkpoints are valid only if police petition for court approval in advance, and the court determines that "the sobriety checkpoint is warranted and the proposed method of stopping vehicles satisfies constitutional guarantees." Police must also provide the public advance notice that a roadblock or checkpoint is being planned. The New Hampshire Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld this law, holding that checkpoints are constitutionally valid when "the public interest in DWI enforcement through this means outweighs the intrusion visited upon the individual motorist." On weekends and holidays expect to see more DWI roadblocks and stepped DUI patrols by local and state police, often coordinating their efforts. Local police often publish notices about upcoming checkpoints on their website or in local newspapers. If you were arrested as a result of a stop at a DWI roadblock, our lawyers may be able to help you. We have experience with roadblock cases and have litigated these and other DWI cases in almost every court in southern New Hampshire.