Driving under the influence of alcohol or other impairing drugs is a crime in every state of the U.S. and the District of Columbia. Whether your state calls it driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or another name, it is a charge which is not taken lightly and that is punished accordingly. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates that roughly 40% of all traffic deaths in the United States are alcohol-related to some degree.
What are sobriety roadside checkpoints?
Georgia law has upheld the right of law enforcement to perform sobriety roadside checkpoints. However, they are required to proceed under certain restrictions. The checkpoint must have been announced as to where it will take place. There must be a legal basis for the checkpoint (for example: an area that has statistically proven to have an increased number of DUI drivers). Law enforcement must stop every vehicle that goes through the checkpoint. They must have probable cause to suspect that someone is driving while impaired before arresting them. Finally, the checkpoint must be approved by a supervising officer. It cannot be set up by any police officer who simply wishes to do a checkpoint.
When you are stopped at one of these checkpoints, you will be asked for your driver’s license and registration. You may be questioned about whether you have had any alcohol. You are required to provide the documents (as you are whenever stopped by law enforcement) as well as your name and address. While the officer is checking over your documents, they are looking for particular signs of impairment which can include:
• Admitting to having been drinking alcohol
• Open containers of alcohol
• Slurred speech or bloodshot eyes
• The smell of alcohol in the car
• Physical indications of intoxication such as appearing to fumble or have difficulty with your documents
• Drug paraphernalia in evidence
It is important to be aware that you could be charged with a drug DUI in Atlanta under circumstances you might not be expecting. You may, for example, be arrested if you are not drunk, but are found to be affected by substances which have impaired your driving ability. These are substances such as: illegal or prescription drugs, cold or cough medicines, over-the-counter painkillers, sleep aids, or inhalants.
How to Handle a Checkpoint
If you are pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint, you are not required to answer other questions. In fact, many arrests are the result of the individual admitting that they have been drinking. If you have been arrested and charged at any Atlanta DUI Checkpoints, you should immediately contact an attorney.
Schedule a consultation
With so much at stake, you should never take a DUI arrest lightly. Contact us soon as possible to ensure that you receive the help you need to bring clarity and insight to your situation. We are committed to solving your legal predicament in the best way possible. Don’t try to navigate the legal system alone. We understand how tricky it can be. Call us for a consultation today.