In this article on Georgia DUI Law, Part I, The Traffic Stop, which is the initial phase of the DUI prosecution will be discussed. In upcoming articles, Part II will address the State Administered Chemical Test. Part III will address motions to suppress or limit evidence, and Part IV will address the trial of the case.
Each year in Georgia and throughout the U.S., in general, DUI arrests spike during holiday weekends and late night hours as their is a suspicion that many motorists on the roads during these times have consumed alcohol and are driving while impaired.
A law enforcement officer is required to have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has occurred prior to being authorized to make a traffic stop (the road block is an exception).
The collection of evidence in a DUI stop begins with physical observations of driving behavior. And some of these observations include traffic stops which many officers would ignore during daylight hours. For example, in Atlanta, an individual is much more likely to be stopped for speeding during late night hours. Although the posted speed limits are normally 55 mph on Interstates 85, 75, 285, and 20, as well as Highway 400 and 78, it is normal during daylight hours to see people speeding between 70 and 80 mph while a law enforcement officer sits on the side of the road and takes no action. However, during late night hours, an individual driving 70 mph is much more likely to be stopped for speeding. Continue Reading ›