The Right to An Independent Breath Test Preserved by the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee 5-0

On May 11, 2009 I wrote an article in this blog titled Did You Know that the New Hampshire State Legislature is in the Process of Taking a Right Away From You? The article concerned a bill sponsored by the department of safety that would have squashed the right of New Hampshire citizens to independent breath testing in DWI cases. At that time House Bill 363, which would annihilate an important right in New Hampshire and which costs the state nothing had quietly passed the House of Representatives.

It is important to note again that the cost of obtaining the independent analysis is borne ENTIRELY BY THE DRIVER! Yes, that's right, these independent tests don't cost the state one red cent. So why would the state want to strip the accused driver of the best chance to challenge the state's evidence? There may be some reasons for it, but none of them are good ones.

The state recently announced that it had purchased a new $500,000.00 Bat-Mobile to roll out at DWI roadblocks. It is more likely this year than ever that you will stopped for no reason at all in a DWI roadblock, a numbers-driven event, frequently marked by very marginal cases resulting in arrests to justify the grant money needed to run more roadblocks. So the state bought a half-million dollar shiny new truck, and wanted to annihilate one of the few remaining challenges that an accused has when he or she decides to blow into a breath gadget, when that challenge is paid for entirely by the citizen. Sound fair?

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS: Despite the state's efforts in convincing the house of representatives to pass HB 363 in order to stomp out this important right for no reason other than easier prosecutions for the state, the Senate Judiciary Committee has wisely killed this bill by voting 5-0 that the bill was inexpedient to legislate.

So for now, this right to prove the state's drunk-in-the -box isn't infallible survives. It is important to remain vigilant and keep an eye on bills the legislature is considering.

Mark Stevens

Have a safe night,

Mark Stevens
New Hampshire Lawyer Mark Stevens
5 Manor Parkway
Salem, NH 03079
Tel 603-893-0074






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