How Common Are DUI Checkpoints in GA?
Police in Georgia frequently set up checkpoints at times and places where they expect to find many impaired drivers, such as on holiday weekends and after sporting events and seasonal festivals.
When a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop, your emotions may range from annoyance to fear. By the time an officer even approaches your car, the stress has already been building, as you look for a safe place to pull over and merge through several lanes of traffic. Wouldn’t it be less disruptive to everyone if police could stop drunk driving before it started, by looking for drunk drivers as they left the bars, instead of waiting for the drunk drivers to get onto the interstate and then flashing the blue lights so that, not only the suspected drunk driver but also everyone else, has to reach quickly to get out of the way? Georgia police departments and courts think so, especially in the Atlanta area, but some motorists are unhappy about the inconvenience of police checkpoints, and some defendants who have been arrested for DUI at checkpoints argue that the checkpoints are unfair. If you are facing criminal charges for drunk driving after a traffic stop or checkpoint stop, contact the Norcross DUI attorneys at Zimmerman & Associates.
Where and When Can Police Set Up Checkpoints?
In general, people who are legally residing in or visiting the United States have the right to travel from one place to another within the country without permission from law enforcement, which is why police checkpoints are a relatively rare sight. Under certain circumstances, police departments may set up DUI roadblocks, also known as checkpoints, at certain times and in certain places, when they have decided that doing so would do more to deter drunk driving than it would stop motorists from getting to their destinations.
Police may not set up checkpoints on interstate highways or other high-speed roads. Therefore, they usually set them up on relatively low-speed roads that lead from an event or area where alcohol is served to a major highway or main road in the city. More than 40% of DUI checkpoints in Georgia are in the Atlanta metropolitan area; for example, they are a frequent occurrence in Buckhead, known for its nightlife. You are also likely to find them in rural areas when you drive home from fall festivals such as Oktoberfest, boating areas such as Lake Lanier, or entertainment events such as football games, music concerts, and Dragon Con.
Your Rights During an After a DUI Checkpoint Stop
The Georgia Supreme Court has established a five-point test to determine whether police roadblocks are valid. The five points are:
- roadblocks must be authorized by supervisory police personnel rather than field officers;
- all vehicles must be stopped, rather than selected vehicles;
- motorists should face only minimal delay;
- a checkpoint must be clearly identifiable as a police operation; and
- the officers must be trained to detect drunken drivers.
Contact Zimmerman & Associates About DUI Defense Cases in Georgia
An Atlanta criminal defense attorney can help you if you are facing criminal charges for DUI after a traffic stop or checkpoint breath test. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a free consultation.