DUI Checkpoints: 5 Defense Tips from our DUI Lawyer GA Team
By:DUI lawyer Atlanta Cory Yager, former police officer who made DUI checkpoint arrests of drunk drivers for nearly a decade while in law enforcement
For the last 35 years, over 1000 times each year, a sobriety checkpoint set up by various law enforcement agencies in Georgia. These drunk driving checkpoint arrests have resulted in DUI charges being lodged against citizens who committed no traffic violations, yet had to pass through a roadblock, show their driver's license, and then were arrested for DUI.
Police use language that makes it seem that you must submit to field sobriety test "exercises" before you can proceed on your path home. These are 100% optional and voluntary and should be declined.
Some officers simply put a portable breath test device near your mouth to have you blow into it. This is also OPTIONAL, and (even if you have not been driving) the officer may use your negative result to immediately start questioning you about marijuana (or other drug) use.
DUI checkpoints in Georgia. Only about 25% of those accused sought out and the best DUI defense lawyer for their criminal case, to challenge their Georgia DUI checkpoint arrest.
Our lawyers know that some DUI checkpoint locations were never properly approved by supervisory personnel at the police department from that police agency's sobriety checkpoints near me. Don't assume that tonight's checkpoint was legally established, in accordance with the Georgia Constitution and the United States Constitution.
Through various federal and state court appeals, Georgia checkpoints have been made more difficult to justify under the 4th Amendment, when advanced planning and oversight (by police supervisors) cannot be proven. This requirement stems from the principle that warrantless, forcible traffic stops and detention is presumptively unconstitutional, absent a neutral, non-biased plan being part of that police agency's documentation at a "programmatic" level.
Avoiding DUI Checkpoints Near Me for Roadblocks Near Me Tonight
For a skilled criminal defense attorney at a law firm in Atlanta GA that specializes in DWI-DUI law defense, these DUI cases are usually easier to win than a DUI accident case or one where either bad driving or bad behavior have occurred.
When a DUI attorney GA does not have to deal with dangerous driving actions or rude or profane behavioral issues, our chances of being able to keep that client's driving record clean is excellent. Simply pleading guilty can mean your insurance company cancelling your auto insurance policy and putting a permanent criminal record on your criminal history. much better. In Georgia a DUI can never be expunged.
In addition, when a new avenue to attack the legality of a roadblock under the Fourth Amendment exists, this always increases the chances of having the entire case tossed out of court. While only about 1 in 25 "traffic stop" cases result in such dismissals, a majority of other cases involving check points near me get resolved on such search and seizure challenges.
Five Tips on Avoiding DUI Checkpoints Tonight Near Me
Usually by use of their cell phone, drinkers will pause in the parking lot where they consumed alcoholic beverages and check their phone for information of possible police checkpoints tonight. The drinking drivers conduct Google searches for phrases like "checkpoints near me right now," "DUI checkpoints today," or checkpoints near me tonight."
These 5 easy steps can improve your chances of dodging a license check or a DUI roadblock on your way home:
- Police strategize on where to set up the roadblocks. They consider where the bars and late-night entertainment establishes are located, and then they identify the major feeder streets that get most of the cars and trucks to an interstate highways or major thoroughfare like GA Highway 316, Georgia 400, or Georgia Highway 300 in South Georgia. Your task is to get to your major feeder road by secondary streets less traveled, not the obvious direct, main roads.
- Look ahead at the horizon. If you see the aura or blue lights from police cars, do not top the hill and find yourself stuck in a cordoned-off queue of cars waiting to clear the safety check checkpoint. Plus, if you are going to divert, do it without violating any traffic laws, because a police "lookout" officer may be positioned nearby just waiting to see some ill-advised maneuver from drivers who panicked and tried to escape passing through the safety checkpoint.
- Turn on the Waze app, and listen out for any message saying, "Police reported ahead." If you hear this, diverting immediately, or even turning around and charting a different path home is wise. If you have no good alternative route, turn around and find a hotel for the evening, or park your vehicle in a safe, well-lit place and call a rideshare company to come take you home.
- If (despite all your efforts) you are still faced with clearing the road check location, do not do the usual things to self-incriminate. Police in Georgia do not have to advise you of your legal rights. In 2023, most officers will have body cameras activated, so that anything you say that is incriminatory will be captured.
Your only words to the officer (if asked) are giving your name and address. Provide no responses since answering police questions is NOT required as to anything beyond giving your name and address. Specifically, REMAIN SILENT as to how much or when or where you drank. If you say anything further, it should be to ask to call an attorney for advice, which will not be allowed.
- Even if the police cuff you and place you under arrest, remain silent, but now with two exceptions to that rule. You will be read a notice AT THE ROADSIDE called the Georgia implied consent notice.
This post-arrest advisement is part of a decades old law called the Georgia implied consent law that lets police ask you for a forensic blood, breath, or urine test for them to SEE what is in your system. You have only 30 DAYS to appeal or to opt for the IID (ignition interlock device), for those qualifying under OCGA 40-5-64.1.
A refusal to take this testing can cause an administrative license suspension for 12 full months, so the best advice is to say "yes," and immediately announce that you will also want your own independent testing to be done AFTER the State's test is collected. Georgia law puts the responsibility for naming where you want to have that independent blood testing conducted, and the place you choose should be in an adjacent county from where you were arrested.
So, be familiar with hospitals located in nearby counties, and be ready to pay for your blood collection when that service is performed. You can take your vials of blood with you and later submit these to a laboratory of your choice, with guidance from your DUI attorney. For example, if arrested in Cobb County GA, ask to go to Fulton County or in Douglas County or Bartow County or Cherokee County.
Limit your Search for Legal Counsel to Law Offices with DUI Experts
For a FREE lawyer consultation, call 404-567-5515 today and speak to the author, or his two law partners, Larry Kohn, or Board-Certified DUI lawyer William Head. Ain addition, you will receive a free PDF copy of Mr. Head's 430-page book, The DUI Book (see image below) for clients on all aspects of DUI defense.
Since it is a FREE consultation, what do you have to lose? Be sure to ask about our firm's payment plans if you need time to pay.
All three partners are published law book co-authors for articles of how to defend Georgia driving under the influence cases. Beginning in 2023, all three partners co-authors Georgia's leading legal resource on Georgia DUI laws, The Georgia DUI Trial Practice Manual.