Police checkpoint activism – New Hampshire style
New Hampshire is 1 of those states where sobriety checkpoints are legal. All the police have to do is get the approve from a judge and then tell the media in a town that a checkpoint will happen in that town. The media then reports when the checkpoint will happen. On July 11th, the Union Leader reported that a sobriety checkpoint would happen in Manchester, NH on July 20th and July 21st. NH drivers are allowed to turn around before a checkpoint, but only in such a manner as would be legal if a checkpoint wasn’t present.
Liberty activists in Manchester like to warn folks about these checkpoints, which I believe violate the 4th Amendment. Activists take a variety of actions including warning people via Porc411, a rapid message distribution network, holding up warning signs near the checkpoint, warning motorists about checkpoints by projecting lasers on near-by buildings and handing out cards at local restaurants.
A recent Manchester checkpoint was scheduled for 2 nights, back to back. The liberty activists were so successful at warning motorists about the police checkpoint that the police didn’t even do the checkpoint on the 2nd night. The July 20th checkpoint started on Elm St but after liberty activists effectively warmed many motorists, the police moved the checkpoint to Bridge St. The liberty activists continued to effectively warn motorists at the new location. The latest report available at Porc411 indicated that police may have given up and not even run a July 21st checkpoint.
Update: I was told by 1 of the activists that as far as he knew, a checkpoint didn’t happen on July 21st. That’s likely because of the July 20th activism. Sometimes, standing up for your rights does work 🙂