As the Thanksgiving holiday weekend approaches, so too do a significantly higher number of drivers on Georgia's roadways. Increased traffic is always more likely to increase the risk of an accident, but the holiday also increases the risk for arrests due to drunk or intoxicated driving.
During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Georgia law enforcement will be out in droves hunting for drivers suspected of drinking and driving. All too often, overzealous officers pull over and arrest those who are not actually intoxicated and are more than capable of driving.
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol during this Thanksgiving season, an experienced Fulton County DUI attorney is here to defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.
Police Tactics: What You Need to Know
Georgia law enforcement will employ a number of different tactics to attempt to find and arrest suspected drunk and intoxicated drivers this holiday weekend.
A roadside checkpoint is a tactic that law enforcement uses to "screen" for potentially intoxicated drivers. If you are stopped at a roadside checkpoint, you will be asked to provide your license and registration, and you will also be asked for your name and address.
The officer may also ask a series of other questions, such as:
- Have you been drinking?
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you headed?
The purpose of these questions is not really to learn the answer to them, but rather to give the officer time to determine whether you have been drinking.
What are they looking for?
Officers are looking for whether a driver appears intoxicated. Signs of intoxication include:
- bloodshot eyes,
- slurred speech,
- inability to focus or concentrate, and
- slow or inaccurate verbal responses to questions.
Police are also looking for signs such as:
- the smell of drugs or alcohol coming from your vehicle,
- containers of alcohol or drug paraphernalia immediately visible within your car, and
- suspicious activity or behavior which may indicate criminal activity.
Field Sobriety Tests
The other method law enforcement will use to attempt to find intoxicated drivers is the use of field sobriety tests. These tests include:
- the Walk and Turn test,
- the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (light shined into the driver's eyes), and
- the One Leg Balance Test.
Unlike blood and breath tests taken at the station or hospital, you are not obligated to participate in field sobriety tests. You have the legal right to refuse. This does not mean that you will avoid an arrest, but is important to know because of the inaccuracy of these "tests."
Consult a Fulton County DUI Attorney
The holidays are a lot of fun. Visiting family, eating turkey until your pants are tight, and even enjoying some drinks with friends. Just remember that Georgia law enforcement is out in force during this Thanksgiving weekend, and they are looking to catch anyone they suspect of drinking and driving, even when you are perfectly able to drive.