Analysis of DUI Sobriety Checkpoints in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, it's important for me to write about the leading causes of DUI in Georgia. There are many related offenses toDUI in Georgia including:

These are just a few examples which lead officers to be suspicious of whether or not a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Today, I'll focus on the Georgia DUI Roadblock. Summer is approaching, and officers will be more on the lookout for intoxicated drivers. 

What is a Georgia DUI Roadblock?

Also known as Georgia Roadside Checkpoints or sobriety checkpoints, roadblocks are common in our state. Officers utilize roadblocks as a way to detect alcohol or marijuana odor in order to have reason to begin a DUI investigation. 

But what is the evidence of DUI other than the officer's suspicions?

Roadblocks are interesting because usually there is absolutely no evidence of unsafe driving. The police officers involved in the roadblock have seen nothing to show that a driver is driving poorly, dangerously, or recklessly.

In most DUI cases, the main part of the evidence that is presented by the state of Georgia relates to speeding or other traffic offenses like the ones I mentioned above. 

Simply, if arrested for DUI at a roadblock, the accused driver did nothing but happen to be on the same road as the roadblock. 

The only evidence stems from the officer's observations of the suspected driver, the driver's performance of Georgia Field Sobriety Tests and/or Georgia DUI breath and blood tests.

How is a Roadblock in Georgia legal?

In order for a roadblock to be both legal and constitutional, the officers are required to obey certain standards. 

These standards include:

  • The officers must set up the roadblock for a legitimate purpose such as a safety check, the result of prior car accidents, seat belt checks, etc. 
  • The officers responsible for the roadblock must have the decision to set it up authorized by their supervisor. 
  • The officers in the roadblock cannot use it selectively - meaning to target any specific person, racial group, or gender - they must stop every vehicle.
  • The officers must ensure that the roadblock is clearly marked, well-identified and noticeable.  
  • The officers involved in the roadblock who are tasked with coming to the drivers' windows must be trained in DUI detection. 
  • The officers must also ensure that the roadblock is not random - it cannot be roving/traveling.
  • The officers cannot cause an unreasonable burden on drivers in the area or businesses in the area in which it has been set up. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI as a result of a Georgia roadblock, you need to contact a Georgia DUI Attorney. The non-abidance of roadblock standards could potentially lead to a total dismissal of your DUI. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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