With most drunk driving arrests, the police officer sees something that leads them to suspect that the driver is impaired. Maybe that person is swerving back and forth, braking too frequently or driving without their headlights on at night.
But with a sobriety checkpoint, all drivers on the road will enter and then exit the checkpoint. The police may pull over all or some of the cars – such as every third car – to further investigate the sobriety of those drivers. Because there is no reasonable suspicion in advance, some states – such as Texas – do not use these field sobriety checkpoints. But Georgia does, as long as the police have a set system for deciding how many drivers they talk to and announce the location of the checkpoint in advance.
Couldn’t you avoid the checkpoint?
It is not illegal to avoid the checkpoint. Drivers are not obligated to continue through it if they do not want to do so.
However, avoiding the checkpoint has to be done legally and without arousing suspicion of intoxication. For example, drivers have attempted to execute u-turns and simply head the other direction on the same road. But a u-turn is often an illegal maneuver, which gives the officers at the checkpoint full justification to pull that car over. If someone just turns legally down a side street before they arrive at the checkpoint, doing so is not illegal in and of itself.
Have you been arrested?
An arrest on impaired driving allegations can significantly alter the course of your life. Make sure you know what defense options you have at this time.