Are DUI Checkpoints Legal and Constitutional in Georgia?

DUI checkpoint sign on the road

With Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day all in the upcoming months, it’s important to know about DUI checkpoints.

Georgia’s Ruling on DUI Checkpoints

DUI checkpoints, also called sobriety checkpoints, are legal in Georgia. However, they are not legal in all states. Some states have ruled them unconstitutional because they violate a driver’s rights. For example, the police don’t need to have reasonable suspicion to stop a driver. Instead, they simply investigate drivers for DUI at random. Additionally, one could argue that DUI checkpoints are a type of illegal search.

However, for a DUI checkpoint to be legal in Georgia, the stop must follow certain rules.

Components of a Legal DUI Checkpoint

Legal sobriety checkpoints must meet all criteria.

  • Purpose: The purpose of the stop must be exclusively to catch drunk drivers. The police cannot use these stops for any general crime detection or reduction reasons.
  • Government approval: The local government must have agreed in advance to implement the checkpoint. It can not be set up last minute.
  • There must be signage: There must be adequate notice warning drivers that they will be coming upon a DUI checkpoint.
  • All cars must be stopped: The officers must stop every car going through the checkpoint; they cannot randomly choose drivers to stop.

Additionally, the methods used to evaluate the driver’s sobriety must be standardized and the officers conducting the tests must be properly trained.

What To Do If You Think You Went Through an Illegal Checkpoint

It is illegal if a sobriety checkpoint does not meet every criterion. In these cases, any evidence the officers collected should not be used. If you were charged with DUI after going through what you believe to be an illegal sobriety checkpoint, contact a DUI defense attorney.

DUI Defense in Cumming, Georgia

Our team at Miles Hansford, LLC is here to help you fight your DUI charges. Whether you were charged after a routine traffic stop or at a DUI checkpoint, we can help you create a strong defense. Give us a call today at (770) 574-6688 to get started.