Libertarian Helps End Roadblocks

In June 1996, a Libertarian-sponsored law ended random drunk-driving roadblocks in New Hampshire.

House Bill 1285, introduced by State Representative Don Gorman (L-Deerfield), requires police to get permission from a judge before setting up drunk-driving roadblocks, and requires the judge to affirm that "all constitutional guarantees are met." The bill passed the state house in March, and the state senate in April. It became law after the governor neither signed nor vetoed the bill within five days.

"Roadblocks of this type infringe on the right of law-abiding citizens to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The New Hampshire State Constitution, as interpreted by the State Supreme Court (State vs. Koppel, 1985) clearly indicates that New Hampshire residents are entitled to greater protection against these types of 'no-reason' stops than is provided for in the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Gorman said.

"During a six-month period, the Concord police department conducted 47 checkpoints, making 1,680 stops and 18 arrests for Driving While Intoxicated. During the same period, routine patrols using traditional methods arrested 175 for DWI. Clearly, the checkpoints are ineffective as well as unconstitutional."

Source: June 12, 1996, News Release from the Libertarian Party.