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  • What To Do During a DUI Roadblock | Your Constitutional Rights

    Written on February 7, 2014

    Driving after consuming alcohol is like playing a game of Russian roulette.  Sometimes you may miss and get away with it, but other times, you may bite the bullet and get arrested.  Everyone knows that alcohol impairs your vision and reaction times, but that does not keep some people from operating a vehicle after drinking.  Police know this, and often set up roadblocks in attempts to find these particular motorists.  Roadblocks are highly controversial, but courts have said time and time again that they are Constitutional.

    There is a prime example of a roadblock arrest in State v. Golden.[1]  The Defendant, Golden, was driving home when he encountered a roadblock.  The Marietta-Cobb County DUI Task Force had set up camp near the city limits of Powder Springs from midnight to about 3:00 a.m. There was a “chase vehicle” set up by the task force, just in case any motorist decided to try to avoid the roadblock.  There were also officers present to check driver’s licenses, insurance cards and automobile tags.  These officers were specially trained to detect whether someone had been drinking, which they were also checking at the time.  The Defendant was asked to pull aside and consented to a breathalyzer test, as well as five field sobriety tests.[2]  After the completion of these tests, the officer suspected that the Defendant was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him. Golden argued to the court that his field sobriety tests should not be admitted because being stopped at the roadblock violated his Fourth Amendment rights.  The court held that his field sobriety tests could be admitted because the roadblock was constitutional.  The officers have a right to temporarily seize an individual for a brief period of time due to the findings in Terry v. Ohio.[3]

    It is never recommended that anyone drive after consuming any type of alcohol, but there are some things you should know if you are caught in the same situation as Mr. Golden.  First, do not turn around. If you encounter a roadblock, go through it. Turning around will only ensure you are going to jail.  Second, you do not have to roll down your window all the way. As long as you can hear the officer and he can understand you, there is no reason you have to roll your window down all the way.  Third, understand you have the right to not consent to any field sobriety tests.  You even have the right to not exit your vehicle. You will likely be arrested for exercising these rights, but it will benefit you and your Kennesaw Attorney in the long run if you decline to take these tests. Fourth, you have the right to decline any of the questions the law enforcement officer asks you.  Lastly, the most important thing to realize is, if you have been drinking, you are likely going to jail.  Do not try to trick the system.  Exercise your rights and have friends or family come release you from jail the next day. After that, call your local Kennesaw DUI Lawyer, and explain what happened.

    It is important to stay safe and always designate a driver. Even if you only have one drink, a taxicab ride is always cheaper than a DUI. Russian roulette is a dangerous game to play with your own life as well as the lives of others.


    [1] State v. Golden, 171 Ga. App. 27 (1984)

    [2] Id. @ pg 28

    [3] Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)