By a vote of 16-7, the chamber voted down House Bill 1283, which would prohibit the use of the checkpoints by police departments. These checkpoints have been used in New Hampshire since 2003 as a means to deter and catch impaired drivers. Police departments throughout the state use the technique to block off stretches of roads and detain drivers to determine their sobriety. Although many contest the constitutionality of such stops and question their effectiveness, police departments argue that sobriety checkpoints, which can detain hundreds of motorists in a night, act as a powerful tool to combat drunk driving.
Under present NH law, local law enforcement agencies must obtain a Superior Court order first, and must publish the times and general location in a newspaper.