Question: I was driving with my wife after eating dinner at the Capital Grille in Dunwoody when I noticed a Dunwoody cop was following me for about 2 miles or so. I didn't want the Dunwoody cop following me because I hate it when the police follow me, especially when they get too close. I'm writing to you because you're a Dunwoody DUI lawyer and I'd like some answers and I was reading your blog.
So I drove kind of fast way from the cop just to get some distance between us. When the cop turned on his lights I figured we were close to Sandy Springs so I didn't pull over; I kept driving and reached Sandy Springs. In Sandy Springs I finally pulled over and the cop came over to the car with his gun out and he was pissed off and cursing. He said I was trying to get away from him; he said I was trying to flee.
I told him that since we were now in Sandy Springs, not Dunwoody, he couldn't do anything to me; I told him he no longer had jurisdiction. He said he did and that either I get out of the car or he was going to get me out. By now my wife was crying because she was scared and thought I was going to get shot or something bad. I thought I better get out of the car.
When I got out, the cop asked me how much I had to drink and I said just a couple of beers. But I think he suspected I drank more than that. He had me do those field sobriety tests, which I can't do because I have a prosthetic leg, and then I did the breath test on the street, but he didn't tell me what I blew. Then the cop arrested me.
At the jail I took the breath test and I got a .183. I honestly didn't think I'd blow that high; I was surprised because I didn't feel that drunk or buzzed. I guess it's because I drink a lot.
My question is can a Dunwoody cop pull me over in Sandy Springs? That's a totally different city and I don't think police officers can just pull over cars out of their jurisdiction.
F.K. in Dunwoody, GA
Answer: Officers in the state of Georgia are routinely “cross-sworn” between jurisdictions so that if they are pursuing a car they don't have to stop at the city line. So it is very common for police officers in neighboring jurisdictions, like Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, to be granted the ability to engage in pursuit of a vehicle between cities. To answer your question directly, a Dunwoody cop can follow you into the city of Sandy Springs and pull you over there.
This is actually a rather common question for a traffic lawyer since the distance between cities in Georgia and in places like North Fulton County can be short. So, for example, you will find officers in places like Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek and Milton are all cross-sworn so they can legally pursue a vehicle and make a stop. If that wasn't the case, then all someone would have to do to escape questioning would be to just drive into another jurisdiction.