It’s H-O-T and that means H-E-A-T
Georgia law enforcement officers love to come up with acronyms for “we’re out hunting for DUI drivers and we know where and when to find them.” HEAT stands for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (the acronym definitely sounds better!) and they have special teams that patrol just for DUIs, called the Night Hawks.
The not-so-bad news is if you get a citation from one of these officers, he or she likely has a video camera recording the encounter. I like cases that have a video of the incident because I don’t have to pit my client’s recollection of the incident against the officer’s. The video is plenty of proof and ensures the officer is honest and correct in his (or her) procedure. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have been proven innocent* because of the police video. (*Remember, we are all presumed innocent, and I don’t have to prove anything, much less my client’s innocence, in court. However, it just sounds better than having to say “how many of my clients have been acquitted because of video.”)
The bad news is the officers selected for these specialized patrols get extra DUI-detection training. This includes classes on how to write a report, how to deal with argumentative drivers and even classes on how to testify in court. And I can assure you that these classes exist: at least once a year, I play the role of “defense attorney” and cross-examine the officers in a classroom setting. So, fly right and don’t let the Night Hawks get you in the summer HEAT.