Therefore, we are not assisted by the well-developed precedents illustrating the general rule that normal driving that incidentally evades a roadblock does not justify an investigative stop, [but] "abnormal or unusual actions taken to avoid a roadblock may give an officer a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity even when the evasive action is not illegal."
Drivers can also be stopped when an officer suspects you were attempting to avoid a nearby roadside checkpoint. “[N]ormal driving that incidentally evades a roadblock does not justify an investigative stop, [but] abnormal or unusual actions taken to avoid a roadblock may give an officer a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity even when the evasive action is not illegal." Jones v. State, 259 Ga.App. 506, 507 (2003), citing Taylor v. State, 249 Ga.App. 733, 735, (2001).
The officer may have noticed you pull over to the side of the road a short distance before the roadblock or make an abrupt turn onto a side road. If your driving behavior was sufficiently suspicious to give the officer an articulable suspicion that you were eluding the roadblock, the stop may be valid. An abrupt turn without signaling or a turn into a closed business prior to a roadside checkpoint may appear as evasive. See Terry v. State, 283 Ga. App. 158 (2007).
But what if the police officer’s reasonable mistake is not one of fact but of law? In this case, an officer stopped a vehicle because one of its two brake lights was out, but a court later determined that a single working brake light was all the law required. The question presented is whether such a mistake of law can nonetheless give rise to the reasonable suspicion necessary to uphold the seizure under the Fourth Amendment. We hold that it can. Because the officer’s mistake about the brake-light law was reasonable, the stop in this case was lawful under the Fourth Amendment.
Our cases have also recognized that nervous, evasive behavior is a pertinent factor in determining reasonable suspicion. United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U. S. 873, 885 (1975); Florida v. Rodriguez, 469 U. S. 1, 6 (1984) (per curiam); United States v. Sokolow, supra, at 8-9. Headlong flight-wherever it occurs-is the consummate act of evasion: It is not necessarily indicative of wrongdoing, but it is certainly suggestive of such.