A tricky DUI checkpoint in South Georgia made news this month. In Twiggs County, police set up a decoy DUI checkpoint to seduce wayward drivers to take a highway exit. When drivers decided to take the exit to avoid the fake checkpoint, they were surprised to encounter the real checkpoint.
This is not the first time Twiggs County deputies have run this checkpoint trick. In fact, they have been doing it for years. And they have made more than 200 arrests. They found that the potentially guilty drivers tend to take the exit and they have an easier time weeding them out this way.
So, are DUI checkpoints like this legal in Georgia?
The Georgia Constitution protects citizens from illegal searches. But in the case of drunk driving, this type of policing is allowed under strict guidelines. Here are some of the rules law enforcement must follow for a stop to be legal.
- A roadside checkpoint has to be approved by a supervisor in the office.
- A checkpoint must have a specific purpose established by the department.
- A checkpoint must be adequately marked. (Examples: orange cones, blue flashing lights, etc.)
- Delay to drivers must be minimal, unless they are detained.
- Police must have probable cause to investigate drivers for DUI. (Such as the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, etc.)
- Drivers who avoid checkpoints can be stopped if the officer believes that the driver took illegal actions or great measures to evade the stop.
DUI checkpoints of any sort are an exception to Georgia Constitutional rights that protect you from illegal searches. For that reason, the judiciary has the duty to apply additional scrutiny to police when someone is arrested at a checkpoint to ensure that the rights of the driver have been protected.
So, if you are arrested for a DUI or any criminal offense at a checkpoint in the state of Georgia, it is always a good idea to have an experienced legal team on your side to ensure your rights have been upheld.
Arrested for DUI? Contact Ashley Schiavone
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Metro Atlanta, you are not alone. Contact an experienced Georgia DUI Defense attorney like Ashley Schiavone.