When driving through Gwinnett County this evening I noticed a DUI checkpoint. Officers from the Georgia State Patrol, City of Suwanee Police, Lawrenceville Police, and Duluth Police were conducting the roadblock.
There are rules the police must follow when stopping people at a roadblock. When those rules are not followed, any evidence found at the roadblock could be suppressed in court. Suppression means the court would not allow the evidence to be used. Your Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer would have to file a motion to suppress challenging the legality of the Georgia DUI Roadblock.
Roadblocks have been allowed since the landmark United States Supreme Court decision, Michigan v. Sitz. 469 U.S. 444. The Court held that a roadblock was permissible when the detention was brief, all vehicles are stopped (so no one was singled out) and the purpose was not for general law enforcement, rather it was for a specific permissible purpose.
The law has evolved over the years, and other courts have ruled on the issue. In Georgia, our Constitution provides more protection against government intrusion than the United States Constitution. As a result, the Supreme Court of Georgia has added other requirements to make a DUI Checkpoint in Georgia legal.
The Police Must do the Following to Have a Legal Roadblock:
- It must be clearly marked and identified as a checkpoint.
- All vehicles must be stopped, and no one can be singled out.
- The primary purpose of the checkpoint must be to address a particular problem in the community. It cannot be for general law enforcement purposes (meaning it cannot be a fishing expedition)
- It must be approved by a supervisor who stays on the scene to make sure the rules are applied.
- The detention must be brief and not create an unreasonable burden on drivers.
If you were stopped at tonight's DUI Checkpoint in Gwinnett County, call now. Because of the strict requirements imposed on the police when conducting a DUI checkpoint, many times we can challenge the legality of the roadblock, and as a result, the DUI arrest itself. Call a Gwinnett County DUI Attorney now.
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