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How do police officers initiate a DUI traffic stop in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2020 | DUI charges

Police officers often ask if the driver knows the reasoning behind the traffic stop. Oftentimes, drivers are aware they were doing something against the law, but sometimes the flashing squad car lights come as a complete shock. When it comes to DUI stops, police officers don’t always need a reason to pull over potentially impaired drivers.

If you are familiar with your rights, you might think that a police officer always needs reasonable suspicion to conduct DUI traffic stop. However, law enforcement officials in Georgia, along with majority of the states across the country use DUI checkpoints where they can pull over drivers at random.

Part of the purpose of checkpoints is to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road and help prevent accidents caused by them. Through checkpoints, police officers usually pick a specific location, typically along busy streets, to stop drivers and check for signs of impairment. A lot of times, these checkpoints are set up during holidays, since many people are likely to be driving home from social functions that involve alcohol drinking.

But if a driver isn’t passing through a checkpoint, reasonable suspicion, or proof that a driver might be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is necessary. Some examples of reasonable suspicion for a DUI stop include:

  • Driving a lot lower or higher than the speed limit
  • Switching lanes recklessly
  • Swerving out of the lane
  • Passing thorough red light and stop signs

Whether a suspect participates in a checkpoint or regular DUI traffic stop, a police officer can’t arrest an individual without probable cause. Which is why officers often use sobriety tests to build a case against a drunk or drugged driver.

And even though DUI charges that derive without reasonable suspicion might be lawful, there is still a chance the police officer didn’t properly follow procedure. Having an experienced attorney help you fight your charges might make the legal process a lot simpler.