Recent Georgia Supreme Court Cases Affirm Restrictions on Police Use of Roadblocks To Achieve DUI Criminal Convictions.
In two recent Georgia criminal cases decided by the Georgia Supreme Court, the court found in both cases that the Georgia motorists charged with driving under the influence (DUI) had their 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures violated by the methods used by police to stop them at roadblocks and gain evidence to charge them with DUI. Accordingly, the court found that the evidence obtained at the roadblocks that was used to charge the motorists with DUI could not be introduced as evidence in their criminal cases. The court clarified the rules for police use of roadblocks that lead to criminal charges against citizens. The rules for police to follow are that the decision to implement the roadblock must be made in advance by supervisory personnel and not officers in the field, that all vehicles must be stopped, the delay to motorists is minimal, the roadblock is well identified as a police checkpoint, and the screening officer at the checkpoint must have sufficient training and experience to know which motorists should be given sobriety field tests. Additionally, the roadblock program must have a primary purpose other than ordinary crime control. Lastly, when challenged, the police must show that under the totality of the circumstances the stop was reasonable. Please contact Rumsey & Ramsey at (770) 394-9400 to discuss your case with a lawyer.