With the holidays ahead, it’s important to realize that law enforcement will be out in full effect. That means an increase in sobriety check points for DUI, especially in high traffic areas like Buckhead. Although this is an ongoing battle for the police and sheriff department alike, you can be sure that with an increase in the amount of late night drivers, security measures will step up to match. If you happen upon a DUI checkpoint, here’s what you can expect to happen.
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) endorsed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) consists of the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn (WAT) and one-leg stand (OLS):
Walking a straight line and then turning around. The purpose of this test, determined to be easily done by most unimpaired people, tests the suspect’s ability to complete tasks with divided attention. This is administered by requiring the suspect to take nine steps, heel-to-toe, along a straight line; turn on one foot; and then return in the same manner in the opposite direction.
Standing on one leg. Suspects are asked to stand with one foot about six inches off the ground and count for 30 seconds. Swaying while balancing, using arms to balance, hopping or putting the foot down indicate possible impairment.
Horizontal gaze nystagmus test. This term refers to the involuntary jerking of the eye that occurs naturally when the eye gazes to the side. But this jerking (or nystagmus) is exaggerated when someone is impaired by alcohol. Officers look for three indicators of impairment in each eye: inability to follow a moving object smoothly; distinct eye jerking when eye is at maximum deviation; and eye-jerking within 45 degrees of center.
Finally, even if you pass these field sobriety tests, you will still be given the breathalyzer test. You can refuse to take it of course, but in the state of Georgia, your refusal will result in a mandatory one-year suspension of your Georgia driver’s license. If you have an out-of-state license. You will lose driving privileges in the state of Georgia for one year.
DUI Bail Bonds in Atlanta, Georgia
If you are unfortunate enough to be in the middle of a sobriety checkpoint, don’t think that you can lie your way out of it by just saying you haven’t been drinking. Trust me. The police will find a way to come up with enough probable cause to have you go through the tests. If you have a friend or loved one that has failed the tests at these DUI checkpoints, then you’re going to need a bonding company licensed to write DUI bail bonds in Atlanta. Since all bail bonds are not quite created equal, you’re going to want to talk with a bondsman that has executed this type of bond before. They’ll ask you a few quick questions over the phone regarding the defendant’s criminal history and your qualifications as a co-signer on the bond. Depending on where in Atlanta they are currently being held (City of Atlanta Detention Center, Fulton County, Cobb County, etc.), the release process can take up to 24 hours. Just ask the bondsman over the phone how long it will be until they’re released.