Drinking in New Hampshire: The Manchester Union leader reports that the state of New Hampshire is expanding its efforts against drunk driving this year by adding patrols to the roads around extant checkpoints. There are sixteen checkpoints in the state, in the following cities and towns: Allenstown, Berlin, Concord, Dover, Hampton, Hillsboro, Hudson, Keene, Laconia, Londonberry, Manchester, Merrimack, Moultonborough, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Salem. Also, the state Highway safety Agency is offering to purchase breathalyzers for all patrol cars in the state. Last year, the checkpoints yielded 105 drunk driving arrests. NH drivers face a .08 BAC limit, compared to .10 in most states.

The Union Leader also reports on proposed changes to New Hampshire’s underage drinking law now under consideration in the state senate. House Bill 1433 would allow police to prove “constructive possession,” rather than actual possession, when dealing with underage suspects. Currently, police may only arrest those who are in possession of an alcoholic beverage, leading many to simply toss cans and bottles by the side before being confronted by police–a fruitful and sound device for now. Under the new law, however, such practices would yield no benefit, as “constructive possession” may be proven by a BAC of .02 or higher (although BAC testing is voluntary). Claire Ebel, of the NH Civil Liberties Union, reminds state residents that refusing a breathalyzer test subjects the driver only to loss of his license administratively; passengers refusing such tests face no such penalty.