Crime & Public Safety

CITIZEN VOICES®

Do you think NH should have sobriety checkpoints?

Sep 28, 2016

Members of the Free State Project made the news recently for their protests at sobriety checkpoints in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sobriety checkpoints are "random" roadside stops where law enforcement officers can pull over a vehicle regardless of specific behavior or suspicion. Currently, sobriety checkpoints in New Hampshire are legal although law enforcement officers must send out a public notice about the location ahead of time. Read more about this issue. 

"Do you think NH should have sobriety checkpoints?"

Sobriety Checkpoints New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 426 participants gave 1,220 responses.

A total of 87% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 13% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this question received 1,220 responses from 426 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

No: A strong majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 77%, opposed sobriety checkpoints.

  • “The only reason these checkpoints are held is because of money. The police departments get federal funds, the officers’ salaries get padded with overtime, and that adds to their pensions. There is nothing about protecting life and property to these checkpoints.”
  • “Stop and frisk was found unconstitutional. Sobriety check points are stop and frisk of motor vehicles… Protect the 4th amendment. The founders gave it to us for a reason.”
  • “I think checkpoints are unnecessary and just another way to get in your face and circumvent the law. What ever happened to probable cause?”

Yes: A minority, at 23% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of sobriety checkpoints.

  • “Yes. If you are sober, then you have nothing to worry about.”
  • “Not only do sobriety checkpoints help to cull impaired drivers, but they also impose a greater risk of detection to deter many drivers from becoming impaired in the first place.”
  • “Drunk drivers need to be kept off the road. Many people lose their lives every year.”

Other: As noted above, 13% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Where to find data on the checkpoints: “They make the results of these things published. Over 100 citations and one arrest for DUI.”
  • Means of notification about checkpoints: “You mean that tiny little blurb found in a section of the newspaper no one ever reads?”
  • Other forms of distracted driving: “How about we come [up with] a way of stopping texting and driving? Those nuts are killing at least as many people as drunks.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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