I recently read a news article from the Chattanooga Free-Times that was written back in 2011. The article said that over the previous four years (2008-2011) Georgia had conducted 80,000 roadblocks. Let me say that again. Over the course of four years, Law Enforcement in the state of Georgia had conducted 80,000 roadblocks. That is an average of 20,000 per year or 54 a day. Most of these were probably DUI checkpoints.
As I mentioned in a previous post, roadblocks are illegal unless they serve a legitimate purpose.
So what is a considered a”legitimate purpose” for roadblocks?
A roadblock must serve special needs, beyond the normal needs of law enforcement. This means they can’t simply be set up to catch general criminal activity.
However, they are permitted by law in the following areas:
First, roadblocks are allowed at federal border checks. As you might have guessed, these must be actually near the borders. So, don’t be expecting a “boarder check” roadblock in Cartersville, Georgia anytime soon.
Second, roadblocks are allowed during emergencies where it is set up to stop an imminent terrorist attack or a dangerous criminal likely to flee along a certain route. Think 24, Jack Bauer, Criminal Minds, the Fugitive. This is your stereotypical manhunt roadblock.
Third, and most frequently, roadblocks are allowed for the purpose of preventing immediate vehicle-related threats to life and limb through the use of DUI Checkpoints or DUI Roadblocks.
From the court’s perspective, the stated purpose is based on the police supervisor’s knowledge and extends to the reason, location, and time of the roadblock in question. This is important to you because if these procedures are not followed closely there may be a reason to throw your case out.
If you have been stopped at a DUI Checkpoint and charged with DUI contact Your DUI Attorney at (770) 824-3030.