New Hampshire police must get court approval for an NH sobriety checkpoint, but once the checkpoint is in place, they may arrest anyone whom they suspect is breaking a New Hampshire law – not just those they suspect are driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (DUI). However, state representative George Lambert of Litchfield says this power goes too far – and he’s introducing a bill in the state legislature to limit it.
Currently, Rep. Lambert believes the police have too much power to make any kind of arrest at a sobriety checkpoint. Since these checkpoints are approved or denied by courts based on whether they will deal with potential DUI properly, but not other possible crimes, the representative believes that police powers at the checkpoint should also be limited to arresting people on suspicion of DUI – but not suspicion of other possible offenses, such as driving with a suspended license.
Opponents point out that checkpoints have been helpful at deterring several different types of possible offenses, not just DUI, because drivers worry about being arrested and so avoid driving if they suspect they’d be breaking the law by doing so.