Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NH DWI Attorney Mark Stevens Fights New Hampshire Roadblocks in State Supremes

Mark Stevens Fights New Hampshire Roadblocks in State Supremes: "CONCORD -- Arguments for and against so-called sobriety checkpoints were presented to the state's highest court Tuesday, with debate largely focused on whether Portsmouth police provided 'aggressive advanced publicity' prior to establishing DWI roadblocks on July 8 and 9, 2005. The court's decision will affect the outcome of five underlying driving-while-­intoxicated arrests made during the roadblocks, as well as state and perhaps national law. A decision is not expected soon, but Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick Jr. offered a glimpse into his thinking on the subject of publicizing sobriety checkpoints in advance. 'I live in Dover, and I don't know anything about the checkpoints,' said Broderick during arguments supporting the roadblocks, as presented by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Cort. Cort told the Supreme Court justices that case law says advance publicity enhances the effectiveness of DWI roadblocks, but is not a requirement. The assistant AG argued that Portsmouth police faxed press releases announcing the roadblocks in advance of the 2005 checkpoints and one newspaper published the announcement the afternoon the first one was held. 'That's aggressive advanced publicity?' the chief justice asked Cort, referencing a petition presented to Rockingham County Superior Court by Police Chief Michael Magnant, seeking permission for the roadblocks. Magnant's petition, approved by the superior court, promised 'aggressive advanced publicity' by notifying numerous news agencies. 'We submit it is,' said Cort, adding police cannot 'compel the media' to publish notices and the court can not mandate that pol"

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