Rise in DUI Arrests

Officers across the State of Georgia are reporting a steep incline in DUI arrests. Most, if not all, of the Georgia Police Force, whether it be municipal police, State County Police, Georgia State Troopers and State County Deputies keep track of just about every arrest that they make. As a part of their “notes” they keep track of the number of arrests as well as the type. According to those records, DUI arrests have increased steeply since the end of the pandemic (according to research by Fox 5 news).

Most notably, police are reporting that daytime drunk driving arrests (or DUI) are up almost three times the amount as prior to the pandemic. Normally, there is a special squadron of police that will investigate DUI arrests. Some are referred to as HEAT enforcement and others are called Nighthawks.

These special divisions used to be the only officers that really made DUI arrests.

However, many officers have expanded their capabilities to include the specialized training required to make DUI arrests. This means that even officers riding around during the day may have the training to arrest for DUI.

The specialized training refers to (as a minimum) the Standardized Field Sobriety Training. This training consists of the ability to understand and use the following examinations: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (or HGN), Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand.

Most people know the HGN as the “follow my finger with your eye” test. This is a scientific test that gauges the eyes ability to track objects at a distance. The remaining field tests, the walk and turn (WAT) and the one leg stand (OLS) are divided attention tests that boil down to basically dexterity exercises.

What this tells everyone is that the police have changed the approach to DUI traffic enforcement.

Now instead of a specialized task force doing all of the DUI investigations, all officers are getting the necessary training to make DUI investigations and arrests.

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It doesn’t matter where you find yourself in Georgia almost all of the police force are ramping up their investigations of DUI including: Johns Creek Police, Alpharetta Police, Milton Police, DeKalb County Police, City of Decatur Police, Atlanta, Police Gwinnett County Police and the list goes on. Many traffic investigation “tools” allow the police to stop a vehicle for any “legal” reason and their investigation can lead to to a DUI if they suspect the driver has been drinking or using drugs.

In addition, as a result of the Governor’s office of Highway Safety teaming up with various organizations, including the HEAT and TEAM division of local counties, the cops are cracking down on impaired driving since the pandemic.

If you have been accused by the police of driving under the influence then you need help from a trained DUI attorney. Should YOU find that you either don’t want to face the court alone or simply feel that you need help from an attorney then give our office a call regarding your citations. There are facts to every case where defenses can be raised for anyone charged with driving under the influence. Each situation is different from the other and requires an evaluation by a DUI lawyer of all the information in order to properly mount a defense and an effective negotiation.

Michael D Barber
Georgia Lawyer specializing in DUI, Drug Charges & Criminal Defense