We hold no brief for the self-styled “Free State” activists who enjoy getting in the face of law-enforcement officers just to get in the face of law-enforcement officers.
In an age when drunk and drugged driving appears to be on the upswing, all legitimate enforcement efforts ought to be employed. A DWI roadblock, when duly publicized in advance, is one such tool.
When people interfere with such a check, as they have done in Manchester by warning drivers to turn around or to take another route, they are not doing the public any favors. Nor are the taxpayers well-served when they have to pay to settle lawsuits because an officer made the wrong decision by arresting one of these yahoos.
As tough as it may be at times, the police need to react as coolly and calmly as possible in these situations. They will enjoy public support, especially if they and the city are transparent in explaining their policies and procedures.
That would include City Solicitor Emily Rice being more forthcoming. This was her response to Union Leader questions about a $15,000 settlement with a Free Stater arrested at a DWI checkpoint:
“As you know, the City does not provide commentary regarding settlements on legal or personnel matters beyond what is legally required.”
We were looking for answers, more than commentary, Ms. Rice. Manchester government would serve the people well to be more forthcoming.