Most police departments in the state of Georgia are now using roadblocks. These roadblocks are set up at different times. Most of them are setup between 11 pm at night and at about four o’clock in the morning. They know this is the hour they can expect to find someone out there who’s not coming from church who is coming through the roadblock. They are looking for people who’ve been consuming alcohol. Many of the times they set them up in areas or neighborhoods that they know are major tributaries coming away from bars and restaurants.
They will even set them up sometimes coming away from a venue such as a concert knowing full well you’re going to come down that path. Roadblocks are constitutionally challenged and won more often than not
How to React If Stopped
First of all, you’re not required to answer questions that could incriminate you. Please understand that the officer has a microphone on his or her shirt and is recording this back to a police car in most situations. The officer says, “I smell alcohol, when did you have your last drink?” That is suggesting that he knows you’ve been drinking when really you may not.
The point of it is, is that you do not have to answer questions like that. You can simply remain silent or say, “Well if I’m going to be questioned in a manner that could incriminate me I’d like to call an attorney.” They are not going to let you call an attorney.
If the officer says I need you to get out and do some field evaluations, this is optional. They didn’t use any optional language but it’s optional. You don’t have to do field evaluations. Most people have orthopedic problems or take medications that can affect those readings. Plus the adrenaline flow alone can make you fail those evaluations. Field sobriety tests are subjectively graded. You have to score better than 98% on the walk and turn and one-leg stand tests just to pass it. You couldn’t even do that in school. Do not take field sobriety tests and do not admit anything about the use of alcohol/drugs or anything else and do not agree or consent to a search of your vehicle.
Building a Defense
A roadblock stop is special because once you get to the roadblock the police officer has seen nothing about your alleged bad driving. Many cases where speeding or weaving or some other traffic offenses involved, that’s one of the main pieces of evidence the officer will use when he goes to court to try to say that you were impaired because you did this or that. At a roadblock, you did nothing but happen to be on the road where the roadblock was established.
If you know the rest of your legal rights, such as not to take field sobriety evaluations, not to admit drinking, not to discuss where you came from or where you’re going, you can usually win those cases.