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DUI Checkpoints

It’s a Friday night after a long week at work and you stop by the local sports bar on your way home for a quick happy hour with co-workers.

An hour turns into two and several drinks later you stagger to your car. On the short drive home, you see police cars in the roadway. First you think it’s a crash scene. Then you realize, too late, that it’s a DUI checkpoint.

If you have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint and arrested on drunken driving charges, you need the assistance of DUI lawyer Michael Anzalone.

As a DWI attorney, Michael Anzalone has developed an aggressive style to make sure that the checkpoints were legal. He wants to make sure it was legally set up by a police department to track down drunk drivers.

What is a Checkpoint?

This is a stop along a New Hampshire road during which police officers stop drivers and ask to see their driver’s licenses and check to make sure they are not impaired as they drive on the state’s roads. In some cases, it’s called a sobriety check point. But it means the same thing. The police are targeting drivers to catch people who are considered too impaired to drive on the state’s roadways.

Your attorney will want to make sure this stop was legal. Did the police agency apply to the superior court, stating exactly how and when the checkpoint will be in operation. They will also have to explain their process of stopping cars. Will every car be stopped, for example?

State laws also require police agencies to notify the public about DUI checkpoints. In some cases these notices are printed in newspapers.

So, in pursuing the case, your attorney will need to know whether the checkpoint met the constitutional requirements. In a case that is described above, for example, your attorney will want to get the application from the police to the superior court to see whether the checkpoint violated any requirements.

In order to prove that you were driving drunk, state prosecutors will need to show that your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol or drugs or a combination of both. You will want to show that your driving was normal. And this is where an aggressive lawyer like Michael Anzalone can help you win your case.

Here is what the state statutes, under RSA 265:1-a, says about checkpoints:

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer or agency shall establish or conduct sobriety checkpoints for the purposes of enforcing the criminal laws of this state, unless such law enforcement officer or agency petitions the superior court and the court issues an order authorizing the sobriety checkpoint after determining that the sobriety checkpoint is warranted and the proposed method of stopping vehicles satisfies constitutional guarantees.

Again, you can be facing penalties including prison time, rehabilitation and fines if you are convicted on charges stemming from a DUI checkpoint. So, if you’ve been arrested you’ll want the advice of DUI lawyer Michael Anzalone.

Call The Anzalone Law Firm in Nashua, New Hampshire, for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Great lawyer...Professional, organized, caring and effective. Michael is very informative and was always willing to explain the reasons behind what was being done. Can't say enough about how helpful he was every step of the way. It was really nice to feel like I actually understood what was going on with my case. Catherine Veilleux