As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, the majority of the cases that I handle include traffic violations and charges of DUI in Georgia. However, not every case involves a traffic violation.
Sometimes people are arrested for driving under the influence as the result of a roadblock. Roadblocks are common throughout Georgia - especially on big holiday weekends. If a driver is stopped at a roadblock, and the investigating officer detects the odor of alcohol or marijuana, even remotely, he or she will initiate a DUI investigation.
If you or a loved one was arrested this past weekend for DUI, contact our offices now. There are certain legal requirements that a roadblock must follow in order to be acceptable. These requirements are not always followed.
In today's post, I will outline the legal requirements of a Georgia DUI Roadblock.
DUI Roadblocks in Georgia
In DUI roadblock cases, there is generally no evidence of impaired driving - most of the evidence comes from the officer's observations of the driver's speech, breath, etc. as well as performance on field sobriety evaluations or any chemical testing conducted during the stop. All of these observations can be challenged if the requirements are not followed. Law enforcement is required to follow certain standards and precautions to ensure that roadblocks are set up in a constitutional and lawful manner.
The requirements are as follows:
- The roadblock must be setup for a legitimate purpose. That means it cannot be just for general law enforcement purposed. For example, it can be a safety check, or seat belt check, or as the result of prior car accidents in the area.
- The decision to implement the roadblock must be made by a police supervisor. Ordinary police officers cannot start their shift and simply decide to have their own roadblock. A supervisor must decide to have the roadblock and do it in a way meets the requirements of legitimacy listed above.
- Every vehicle must be stopped. They cannot selectively enforce the law or target any particular person, racial group, or sex.
- The roadblock must be well-identified and clearly marked. It must inform drivers where it is located and for what purpose.
- The officer that comes to your window must actually be trained in DUI Detection. The officer must be trained sufficiently to make the initial determination that the driver should be suspected of being DUI.
- The roadblock must not be randomly placed or a moving or roving roadblock.
- The roadblock cannot create an unreasonable burden on drivers and businesses.
If law enforcement does not follow the above-listed requirements, then the evidence in your DUI Roadblock case may be dismissed. This can lead to a complete dismissal of your DUI charge. That is why it's important to hire attorneys that specialize in Georgia DUI Law. Call now.
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