DUI: Can I Get Arrested at Home?

Question: I'm writing because I need some answers because I got a DUI in Johns Creek. I actually wasn't driving when I was arrested. I wasn't pulled over. I was at home ready to go to sleep.

I was driving to my house and I hit a mailbox. Actually I hit a mailbox and some garbage cans. It was after a fairly long night of drinking with some old friends from my Georgia Tech fraternity. We hit a few places like Egg Harbor Café, Kathleen's Catch and Pearl Lian. I had too much to drink but I didn't think I was really drunk. I thought I had a good buzz, but nothing illegal.

I was at home when the police came to my door and rang the doorbell. They said they wanted to speak with me. They asked me if I hit anything coming home. I thought I just hit a curb, but the officer told me he had gotten a couple of calls from people reporting me for hitting things.

I did everything he asked me to do and was very cooperative. I was not great on the tests and I fell once or twice. I took a breath test after he arrested me and it was .244. I understand that it sounds high.

I need to know can a cop arrest me for DUI if he didn't see me driving. Can he take the word of a couple of people who call the police?

S.V. in Johns Creek

Answer: It is not uncommon for police to go to an individual's home to investigate if they receive what seems like credible calls reporting accidents from the public.

What apparently happened is that the Johns Creek police were alerted to the accidents you describe – hitting a mailbox and garbage cans. Likely, people were able to see your tag and report it to the police.

When the police arrived at your home they suspected DUI because of how you acted, what they smelled or something you said. They then conducted an investigation by questioning you and with field sobriety tests.

To specifically answer your question: yes, the police can make an arrest for DUI on the facts as you state them. In fact, we have had numerous clients who were arrested at their homes following reports of accidents or other incidents. An example of when a DUI arrest is made at a person's home is when a hit and run is reported.

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