During the recent holiday season, law enforcement cracked down on all types of traffic infractions but focused especially on finding those who were intoxicated while driving. To do this, police officers employed many different techniques, from having more officers on duty to using sobriety checkpoints to screen for potential drunk drivers.
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for DUI in Georgia, an experienced Fulton County DUI attorney is here to defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.
29 People Arrested at 2 Checkpoints Alone
Between Christmas Day and New Year's Day this past holiday season, 29 people were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol at two sobriety checkpoints in Milledgeville and Madison, Georgia.
At two different road safety checkpoints, 13 people were arrested for DUI in Baldwin County within a five hour period. The sobriety checkpoints occurred on U.S. Highway 441 near the intersection of Corral and Meriwether roads, as well as at the intersection of Ga. Route 212 and Little and Nelson Roads.
Officers also employed the use of drug-sniffing dogs from the Georgia Department of Corrections to assist them in their search for intoxicated drivers. One driver attempted to avoid the sobriety checkpoint but was apprehended and later identified as Kewan Bouyer, of Twin City, Georgia.
Sobriety Checkpoints & Police Presence Over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Unlike other holidays where drinking may be more likely (i.e., St. Patrick's Day or Halloween), you may not think that a holiday such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would warrant increased enforcement by Georgia police officers. However, anytime there is a major holiday, especially when individuals might get a day off from work, the police are on the lookout for intoxicated drivers.
Officers will do this through the use of increased police presence and often sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints are required to meet certain constitutional requirements to be enforceable.
The purpose of the checkpoint cannot be for general law enforcement or ordinary criminal wrongdoing. The purpose of the sobriety checkpoint must be to look for potential intoxicated drivers or may also be used to check for vehicle safety compliance and driver's license checks.
Adequately Marked Checkpoint
A sobriety checkpoint must be adequately marked. It is usually marked by orange cones and marked patrol cars with blue lights flashing. Officers are in uniform and are usually wearing reflective vests.
Minimal Delay to Passing Motorists
The delay to traffic and passing motorists must be minimal. Every vehicle must be stopped initially, but it is not required that every vehicle be required to pull over for a lengthier investigation. If the officer sees signs of intoxication (bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, smell of alcohol), they will likely require the driver to pull over for further investigation.
The DUI investigation must still be supported by probable cause, and if no such probable cause existed for the investigation the results of the investigation may be inadmissible against you.