Tag Archives: Smoky

Talking To Smokey

A friend recently asked me to do a write-up of what one has to do when talking to the police in New Hampshire. He asked nicely, so here we go:

If you are not being detained, you need not say anything.

The information required of an individual detained on foot is simple, and listed in RSA 594:2. It reads, “Questioning and Detaining Suspects. – A peace officer may stop any person abroad whom he has reason to suspect is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime, and may demand of him his name, address, business abroad and where he is going.” If you are detained, you only have to verbally give name, address, where you are going, and why you are going there. No more is required of you. RSA 594:3 can be brought into play if the officer feels threatened, and a standard “Terry Stop” can be conducted. You need not consent, but the search can be conducted anyway.

Things complicate when stopped and detained in a motor vehicle. RSAs 594:2 and 594:3 are still in effect, in addition to RSA 265-A:4. This statute states that anyone driving on a road in this state can be tested for alcohol. The roadside field-sobriety tests are optional, the required tests are either blood or breathalyzer. Refusing a roadside sobriety test carries no punishment, but you must submit to a breathalyzer or blood test. If you refuse the breath or blood test, you will lose your driver’s license. RSA 265-A:5 outlines the standards the breath and blood tests must meet. You must also present the officer with your driver’s license and the vehicle’s registration when detained in a vehicle.

So, to review:

Detained on foot, name, address, destination, and why you are going there.

Detained in vehicle (Driver), name, address, destination, business abroad, license, registration, submit to breath or blood alcohol test if required.

Detained in vehicle (Passenger), same as if you were detained on foot.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, take this schpeel for what it’s worth and talk to a lawyer before you try any stunts seen here. Don’t sue me for your failure to double-check.

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