The NH State Police have announced a so-called "DWI Checkpoint" for "the week of September 10, 2017." Most of the time, the announcement of a DWI checkpoint during a week that begins with a Sunday, turns out to be a checkpoint on the following Friday or Saturday night. So the most likely times for this checkpoint are the evening hours of Friday, September 15, or Saturday, September 16. We know this because the State Police and local police departments have conducted so many checkpoints in recent years - for example, in Chichester, two of them in the last three months alone.
Don't bother to tell the officer who stops you in a checkpoint that you did nothing wrong. That is the whole point of a DWI checkpoint. It's a wide dragnet that stops and detains the innocent and guilty alike.
We post these warnings for a simple reason: the best strategy to defeat a checkpoint is to avoid being a driver that gets stopped in one. In fact, prior publicity warning the public is a legal requirement for a constitutionally-valid checkpoint, for exactly that purpose - to give people a chance to make the choice to avoid the checkpoint altogether. Stay away from Bow on Friday and Saturday night this week. Rely on a designated driver, call a taxi, or use an Uber or Lyft (which just announced service throughout NH).
But if you get caught up in the dragnet, there are legal defenses that apply specifically to checkpoint-based DWI arrests. We have won cases, and we have reached plea agreements that avoid the dreaded DWI conviction and even save the client's Commercial Driver's License, where the accused was stopped in a checkpoint. If you or someone you are close to is unfortunate enough to get caught up in one of these dragnets, call us to learn more.
--- Ted Lothstein
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