Each year, thousands around the Atlanta area visit their favorite Mexican establishment for an evening of drinks and fun for Cinco de Mayo. Before you drive home after your Cinco de Mayo festivities, remember these points to help keep you out of DUI trouble:
- Roadblocks can be set up around your favorite hangout spots. Under Georgia law, there are no real restrictions on the areas that cops may setup roadblocks, as long as they have authorization from a supervising officer on the location of the roadblock. Typically, roadblocks will be setup in spots where cops know DUI or other traffic violations are likely to occur. Be careful when driving. If you do come up to a roadblock, take note of its characteristics. Are all cars being stopped? Is there a long line with traffic backed up? Is the roadblock clearly identifiable as a roadblock? Remember to look at these things- they could help your lawyer if things go south.
- Remember that Field Sobriety Tests are completely voluntary. Tests like the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk and turn and one leg stand are completely voluntary tests in Georgia. Often, cops will more less tell you to begin a test and do not clearly explain that you have the right to decline these tests. Exercise your right; politely decline.
- Know that if you do get arrested for DUI, the cop is going to read you implied consent rights and then demand a blood or breath test from you. There is no blanket advice on these tests. However, a breath or blood test is generally the cop's strongest evidence against you if you do test over the limit. If you are uncomfortable about taking the test, you have the right to refuse and it is probably a wise decision.
Remember, cops will be out for Cinco de Mayo in full force. With the average DUI netting the city $600-$1000 in fine revenue, cops are motivated to patrol heavily traveled Cinco de Mayo spots. Drive safe out there. If things do turn for the worst, call our office to discuss your situation.