The Forsyth County Sheriff's Department uses roadblocks to enforce the law and crack down on moving violations including DUI, driving with suspended or invalid licenses and other equipment violations.
Roadblocks in Georgia
Under Georgia law, roadblocks must meet minimum constitutional requirements in order to be valid, since law enforcement has no suspicion or probable cause when stopping you at a roadblock. If you have been stopped and arrested for DUI or the like at a roadblock, remember some key points about the setup of the roadblock. Where all cars stopped? How long did you wait at the roadblock? Could you tell it was a roadblock- was it clearly marked as a checkpoint? Knowing these facts will help your lawyer in determining the best way to defend your case.
Probable Cause at a Roadblock
When Forsyth County sets up road blocks, the officers screening you will usually have any suspicion or probable cause to make you stop. This is legal in Georgia and throughout the U.S. if the checkpoint is operated according to the law. In a DUI case, this means one of the 3 main parts of your arrest will be missing: how you were driving. Usually, your driving actions play an important role in a DUI case and cops will do everything possible to capture your driving on camera. Of course, at a checkpoint you simply pull up and stop, so the officer will have to admit your driving was fine (unless you pull up to the checkpoint in an unusual manner).
Screening Officers at a Checkpoint
Under Georgia law, even the screening officer at a roadblock must be trained to minimum standards on DUI detection if they investigate you further for a DUI. Frequently, there will be an initial officer- screening officer- who will send you to a separate station where a more thorough investigation will be performed. Depending on what they suspect, you may simply have to produce documents or wait for them to check the status of your vehicle, or may even be asked to perform field sobriety tests.
Field Sobriety Tests at a Roadblock
The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office does have a unit of officers specifically trained in DUI detection. These officers receive more hours of training than the average officer and will usually be present at a sobriety checkpoint. Tests these officers may ask you to perform include an eye test (HGN test), the walk and turn, and the one leg stand test. Additionally, a lot of Forsyth Deputies carry preliminary breath tests which are small hand-held breath test devices. If asked to blow into one of these devices, you may say no. You may actually refuse to take all field sobriety tests- that is your right.
More Information on a Forsyth County DUI Checkpoint Arrest
If you have been arrested, or seek more information on DUI checkpoints in Forsyth County, Georgia, give our offices a call today. Both Mr. Zeliff and Mr. Watson have successfully challenged roadblocks and know exactly what to look for in challenging these stops. We are available 24/7 and will be happy to setup a no-cost consultation to review your case with you. Call or email us today at (770) 887-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.