SEABROOK — The New Hampshire State Police’s annual sobriety checkpoint will take place some time this week in the Seabrook area. The exact time and place will not be announced.
Under the annual traffic safety initiative to get impaired drivers off the roads, the New Hampshire State Police, in cooperation with the Seabrook and Hampton police departments and the Rockingham County Sheriffs Office, applied for a Superior Court petition to conduct a sobriety checkpoint, considered one of the most effective methods of detecting and apprehending drunk or drugged drivers.
According to the state police, a review of records shows the use of alcohol by individuals who operate motor vehicles has resulted in an alarming number of deaths and personal injury accidents on state roads.
Last year, a similar program run in Seabrook resulted in law enforcement officers stopping 688 vehicles, arresting 18 individuals on alcohol and drug charges, while six 17-year-olds were taken into protective custody.
Three drivers attempting to avoid the checkpoint by making a U-turn were quickly stopped by police stationed nearby. One vehicle had six minors in it, all of whom were taken into protective custody and their parents contacted.
Those who proceed into the checkpoint will be greeted by officers who request licenses and registrations, while doing a sobriety assessment, checking for obvious signs of impairment, like a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech or shaky balance.
Those who are suspected of being under the influence of drugs are evaluated by officers who are trained in drug recognition.
Drivers suspected of being impaired are taken to an area where field sobriety tests are conducted. Those who passed are released to drive away, but those who don’t are further tested to gauge their blood alcohol level. If found to be above the legal limit, drivers are arrested.