New Hampshire DWI Roadblocks: The Annual Crackdown on Freedom

On the Fourth of July every year we honor the patriots past and present who gained us our freedom and who have fought to preserve it ever since. Parades, concerts, fireworks and celebrations occur all over New Hampshire and everywhere else in America to celebrate our independence from a foreign oppressor in 1776. The freedom won by those patriots is being obliterated every year though, by an ever increasing number of police DWI roadblocks all over New Hampshire. Thousands of New Hampshire citizens and visitors will be stopped and hassled in police roadblocks this weekend. The government's own records reveal that about 99% of the citizens who are seized and subjected to unwanted dealings with the police in these roadblocks have done nothing wrong at all. They simply drove on a New Hampshire road on a holiday weekend that the police selected for a federally funded DWI blockade. The police call these "DWI Crackdowns" and other law enforcement nicknames.

As the 2009 Fourth of July Weekend begins, it is more likely than ever that you will be stopped at a DWI roadblock in New Hampshire. That is because your individual right to be left alone if you are doing nothing wrong is being sand-blasted away for the sake of police convenience. The police receive federal grants to block roads. The police mantra goes that it is easier for the police to catch drunk drivers and "send a strong message about DWI" by erecting these blockades. If that were really so though, wouldn't the number of DWI arrests and DWI induced accidents go down if the number of drivers on our roads remained constant?

Is the high price that we all pay in terms of our civil liberties worth what we get in return from DWI roadblocks? If DWI roadblocks actually were effective, the number of DWI arrests and DWI caused accidents and fatalities would go down every year. They don't. In New Hampshire the number of alcohol related fatalities and accidents has remained constant, despite a rise in the number of police roadblocks from 7 roadblocks in 2005 to 44 roadblocks in 2008. There were 1, 127 drivers seized in 2005 DWI roadblocks that netted only 10 DWI arrests. In 2008 there were 8,649 drivers seized in 44 New Hampshire DWI roadblocks and only 52 drivers were even arrested for DWI in those roadblocks.

Does any one see an alarming trend here? Wake-ee, wake-ee!

In 2005 there were 4,903 DWI arrests made in New Hampshire, state-wide. There were 7 DWI roadblocks in New Hampshire that year. In 2007, there were 41 DWI roadblocks, roughly 6 times the number of DWI roadblocks as in 2005. Surely with a 600% increase in the frequency of this allegedly effective law enforcement tool the number of DWI arrests must have skyrocketed, wouldn't you think?

Shockingly, the actual number of DWI arrests was exactly the same statewide in 2007 as in 2005: 4,903. It is statistically improbable that these two numbers would come out exactly the same in two different years, much like hitting your same daily number on two different nights, but these are the state's own numbers. It is appalling that a 600% increase in the number of DWI roadblocks in a 3 year span did not generate one single additional DWI arrest in 2007 versus 2005 across the entire state of New Hampshire, year after road blocking year.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and when John Adams and Benjamin Franklin edited it, and when the first congress approved it, can it seriously be argued that this is what they had in mind?

Happy Fourth of July, and be prepared for police blockades in your travels this weekend.

Mark Stevens

5 Manor Parkway
Salem, NH 03079




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1 comment:

  1. Do you have to do the field sobriety tests in a roaddblock?
    What happens if you say no?