At some point driving in and around the Atlanta Metro area you have probably been stopped at a checkpoint or roadblock. In Atlanta checkpoints are often used to check for seatbelt usage, while others are used to inspect registrations. In most cases however, the Atlanta PD may set up a checkpoint to look for drunk drivers.
For the Atlanta PD to set up a checkpoint, certain guidelines must be followed. Atlanta DUI checkpoints are strict and must be followed in order to avoid violating drivers’ Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure. In order to conduct a checkpoint, a Atlanta PD must prove that there is a need for it (i.e., an unusually large amount of DUI arrests at the specific location). The checkpoint must be approved by the supervising officer in advance—a group of officers cannot spontaneously decide to conduct a DUI checkpoint one night.
Atlanta DUI checkpoints must be publicized in advance to have a deterrent affect on drinking and driving. At the checkpoint, there must be a method regarding which vehicles are stopped (i.e., every car, every third car, etc).
When an AP Officer believes that a driver is under the influence due to his or her appearance or behavior –such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, odor of alcohol—he or he she may ask the driver to step out of the vehicle. The officer may also ask for your name, registration, and whether you had anything to drink. The only questions you are required to answer are those pertaining to your identification.
If asked to exit your vehicle, the officer may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. These tests, unlike the breathalyzer test, are entirely voluntary. If the officer believes that you are intoxicated, you will be asked to submit to a breath test. You may be arrested and charged with DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher.
If you have recently been arrested at an Atlanta DUI checkpoint, you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. As a Former Prosecutor, we know exactly how to defend your DUI Case. We can review the checkpoint to determine if protocols were followed and if your arrest was legal. If you were unlawfully arrested, your charges may be dismissed. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP so we can apply for a ALS Hearing so you can still drive. You ONLY have 10 business days after your arrest. Don’t wait!