Georgia law forbids drivers from operating a vehicle when they’re impaired. This can come from a host of causes, including alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and illegal substances. Regardless of what causes a driver to be impaired, they can face criminal charges if they’re driving while they’re under the influence of it.
Police officers who are on patrol will look for signs that a driver isn’t fully sober. In order to conduct a traffic stop, they need to have reasonable suspicion that the driver is breaking the law. Cops are taught several signals that would point to an impaired driver. If they notice any of these, the requirement for reasonable suspicion to conduct the stop is present.
- Driving without headlights from dusk to dawn or in the rain
- Making illegal turns or failing to use a turn signal
- Weaving in and out of lanes or straddling the centerlane
- Stopping for no reason or failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Driving too slowly or speeding
There might also be other signs present that could make an officer think that a person isn’t sober. As long as they see something that makes this think this is the case, they can work to find out what’s going on. If you’re stopped, you’ll likely be asked about alcohol and drugs. You may be asked to take a chemical test. If the standard of probable cause is met, you’ll be arrested and charged.
Once you’re charged with impaired driving, you need to get to work on your defense. This includes addressing the criminal matter but also need to think about the administrative process. Your attorney can help you to do this.