Yesterday, I wrote about how the DUI process typically starts with a routine traffic stop, which results in a DUI and some common related offenses like failure to maintain lane, following too closely, or illegal u-turns. Now, I'd like to focus on another common DUI-process starter: the Georgia DUI Roadblock.
DUI Roadblocks, or also known as Georgia roadside checkpoints, are actually really common in the state of Georgia. If a driver gets stopped at a roadblock, and an officer detects alcohol or marijuana odor, it is highly probable that he or she will face a DUI investigation. However, a Georgia DUI Lawyer will be able to evaluate not only the legitimacy but the legality of the roadblock.
The most interesting part of the use of roadblocks in DUI cases is that there is generally no evidence of impaired driving at all. DUI cases resulting from roadblocks are prosecuted usually only by the officer's observations of the driver, field sobriety tests, and/or chemical tests.
No one should plead guilty to a DUI without speaking with a Georgia DUI Attorney who can look into and investigate the validity of the roadblock in his or her case.
Law enforcement is required to abide by certain standards to make sure that roadblocks are properly set up - both in a constitutional and lawful manner. The following are descriptions of standards that are needed to be followed by law enforcement in order to make a DUI arrest from a roadblock valid.
Legitimate Purpose: Law enforcement must set up the roadblock for a legitimate purpose. It must be for a safety check, the result of prior car accidents, seat belt checks, etc. The roadblock cannot be for merely general law enforcement purposes.
Police Supervisor: Police officers are not authorized to set up a roadblock on their own accord. The decision must be made by a police supervisor.
Every Vehicle: The roadblock must be used for every vehicle. That means that every vehicle coming through must be stopped. Police officers in the roadblock cannot use it selectively - meaning to target any specific person, racial group, or gender.
Clearly Marked: A roadblock must be not only clearly marked, but also well-identified and noticeable. The roadblock must obviously show where it is located and its purpose.
Proper Training: The officers involved in the roadblock who are tasked with coming to the drivers' windows must be trained in DUI detection. In order to make any sort of initial determination that a driver is suspected of driving under the influence, the officer has to be sufficiently DUI trained.
Not Random: A roadblock cannot be random. This means that it cannot be randomly placed, moving, or roving/traveling.
Unreasonable Burden: A roadblock also 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 Lawyer. If law enforcement did not follow the above-listed standards, your lawyer can actually file a motion to suppress evidence found in your case. This could potentially lead to a total dismissal of your DUI.