Law enforcement commonly sets up roadside sobriety checkpoints to randomly check for people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The police running the checkpoints are required by law to follow certain protocol, like publicly announcing the location of the checkpoint, as well as specific ways to pull over cars to avoid profiling or other rights violations. If you have been charged with DUI after being pulled over at a roadside checkpoint, a lawyer at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson can evaluate your case and provide you with the aggressive defense you need.
What to Expect at a Georgia Checkpoint
At a roadside checkpoint, police officers will ask you to provide you license and registration. Officers are trained in DUI detection, and will be on the lookout for any open bottles of alcohol. If a police officer at the checkpoint suspects that you have been drinking and driving, he/she will ask whether or not you are intoxicated. You are not obligated to answer this question. Legally, you do not have to say anything. If police are still suspicious that you are under the influence of alcohol, they will ask you to perform field sobriety tests. Although you are not legal obligated to submit, your license may be suspended for a year if you refuse.
Avoiding DUI Arrest in Georgia
According to law enforcement, checkpoints are maintained to reduce the number of DUI-related injuries and deaths suffered by Americans each year. Even if you aren't intoxicated, it is illegal to keep an open container of alcohol in your car. If an officer sees an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, he/she may arrest you for driving under the influence. You may keep alcohol in the truck of your car, out of the immediate control of the vehicle's driver or passengers. If you don't want to be pulled over a checkpoint, always designate a sober driver. If you do not have a designated driver, call a cab, friend or family member.
Georgia Checkpoints and Implied Consent
In accordance with the state's implied consent law, you agree to submit to chemical testing when you accept the privilege of driving a car. What does this mean, exactly? If you refuse chemical testing, police cannot force you to be tested, but you may be subject to penalties. Law enforcement resumes that you will undergo testing if it is requested of you. Currently, the Intoxilyzer 5000 is the only form of testing approved to test an individual's breath for BAC. Every year, approximately 1000 new breath test operated are certified statewide.