Your Privacy Rights Under Attack Again in New Hampshire-This Time It's HB 546

Your privacy rights have come under attack again in New Hampshire, this time from the House of Representatives in the form of House Bill 546. This bill would eliminate cell phone use while driving (your cup of coffee may be safe until the next legislative session). The bill contains an even more onerous provision though: it allows a police officer who stops you to give you the $100.00 fine that this law would impose, to search your cell phone. That's right, he can see who you've been talking to, texting, tweeting, facebooking, or anything else you thought was private. It won't be private if this law passes.

I have included the language of this creepy proposed law below. Note that the legislators who sponsored the bill want to give the cops permission to search your cell phone without a warrant under this proposed law. The cop can simply search your cell phone if he feels like it or if he has nothing better to do. And it is a fair assumption that a cop who stops you for this type of infraction alone may not have anything better to do than nose around your phone.

Here is the language of the bill in italics:


AN ACT relative to the use of hand-held cellular phones while driving.

SPONSORS: Rep. Pantelakos, Rock 16; Rep. Hofemann, Straf 6; Rep. Welch, Rock 8; Rep. Swinford, Belk 5

COMMITTEE: Transportation


This bill prohibits the use of hand-held cellular phones while driving a motor vehicle.

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to the use of hand-held cellular phones while driving.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Section; Rules of the Road; Prohibited Uses of Cellular Phones While Operating a Motor Vehicle. Amend RSA 265 by inserting after section 105-a the following new section:

265:105-b Prohibited Uses of Cellular Phones While Operating a Motor Vehicle. No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public way while using any type of hand-held cellular telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion. An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a cellular telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion, is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. This limitation shall not prevent persons from using “hands-free” mobile telephones, if they do not require hand-held operation. A police officer charging a person with violating this section is authorized to examine the person’s cellular phone in order to verify the time of the call. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine of $100.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2012.

This bill is not a done deal yet though. You should let your representatives know how you feel about a law that allows the cops to search your cell phone because they saw it near your ear, or even whether you think cell phone users should be barred from the safe use of their phones at all. If the thought of cops searching your cell phones bothers you, you should make sure to let your representative know that your rights matter to you, and do so before they jack-hammer your Constitutional rights away again.

If you would like to talk about this on the radio this is one of the topics we'll be discussing on my radio show on WCCM AM 1190 at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 17th.

New Hampshire DWI laws. Call Salem, New Hampshire criminal defense Attorney Mark Stevens today at 1-603-893-0074 for a free consultation for your New Hampshire DWI or "aggravated DWI" charges.

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1 comment:

  1. if the cops can tell time why do they need to look at the cell phone held at some one's ear to tell what time a call was made? In the end they can make up whatever time they want on their tickets and reports any way can't they?