DUI Checkpoints On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Beneath the festive cheer that accompanies this time of year is the sobering reality that there is a significant spike in DUI cases during the holiday season. Read on to learn more about this trend and how to prepare yourself in the event of a DUI arrest over the holidays.
What are DUI Checkpoints?
DUI arrests in Georgia reach their peak between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Many of these arrests occur at DUI checkpoints, where Georgia law enforcement officers can stop vehicles at designated roadblocks in order to check driver’s licenses and compliance with traffic laws. These stops also give officers the chance to screen drivers to determine whether they are under the influence. The use of these kinds of checkpoints and roadblocks, however, is only legally permitted in certain circumstances. When these rules aren’t followed, any DUI arrest resulting from the stop could be challenged in court.
When are DUI Checkpoints Allowed?
In order for a holiday DUI checkpoint to be legal in Georgia, it must satisfy certain criteria. At these checkpoints, for instance, every driver must be stopped. They must also be ordered by police supervisors, staffed by police, take place in a stationary location, and be clearly marked and identified. When officers fail to abide by these rules, the results of any DUI stops, such as an arrest or formal charge, the accused can file a motion to have any evidence obtained at that stop excluded from the case. This could include everything from the officer’s testimony or dashboard camera recording to the results of a roadside or breathalyzer test. In most cases, without this evidence, a prosecutor will have no choice but to dismiss a case.
Knowing What to Expect at a DUI Checkpoint This New Year’s
If you do find yourself stopped at a DUI checkpoint this New Year’s, don’t panic. Taking steps to avoid the roadblock by making an illegal u-turn or swerving can actually give the police a basis to stop your vehicle anyway. Instead, remain calm, approach the checkpoint slowly, and be sure to follow the officer’s directions carefully. While you should cooperate with the officers in providing your license, you don’t need to answer questions about your alcohol consumption and if asked to take a pre-arrest breathalyzer test, have the right to refuse. Of course, if you are arrested for driving under the influence, be sure to reach out to an experienced attorney right away, so you can start working on your defense.
Get Started On Your Case Today
Just because you are charged with driving under the influence, does not mean that a conviction is inevitable. If you were stopped by police at a DUI checkpoint, or just while driving and arrested for driving under the influence this holiday season, please contact experienced Cobb County DUI attorney Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. right away, so we can get started on your case. You can set up a free consultation by calling our office at 678-853-2500 or by sending us an online message.