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Tennessee DUI News

Forced Catheterization: Medically Acceptable and Reasonable?

Imagine you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI or DWI). The Officer decides he has probable cause to arrest you for DUI, and pursuant to your state’s implied consent law, he requests that you provide a sample of urine to determine the alcohol and/or drug contents in your system. Again, he specifically requests a urine test, not a breath test or a blood test to determine the amount of alcohol, prescribed medication, ... Read More »

Will .05% Become the New National Legal Limit?

On March 8, 2017, Utah lawmakers passed legislation to lower the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level to 0.05%.[1] On March 23, 2017, Utah’s governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law, making Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the nation.  The lowered blood alcohol limit will take effect in the state on December 30, 2018—just before New Year’s Eve.[2] This is a distinct and separate law from Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence. Accordingly, even if the ... Read More »

What Actually Happens In Your Body When You Get “Drunk”?

Drunk driving can lead to being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being arrested can add to the serious “hangover” you may have after consuming that much alcohol. But most people are not aware of what actually happens to your body once all that alcohol is consumed. Ash M. Richter has authored an article, “Every Time You Get Drunk, This Is What Happens To Your Body And Your Brain,” that explains the science behind the hangover. The consumption of ... Read More »

Tennessee Adopts a (Limited) Good-Faith Exception to the Warrant Requirement

On November 3, 2016, Tennessee joined the ranks of over a dozen states that have adopted a limited good faith exception to the search warrant requirement in a Tennessee DUI case that involves a warrantless blood draw.[1] A blood draw for the purpose of determining a person’s blood alcohol content is a search under the Fourth Amendment, and a warrant is required unless an exception to the search warrant requirement applies.[2] For example, some exceptions include consent to the blood ... Read More »

Tennessee Repeals New Underage DWI Law

July 1, 2016 was a highly anticipated day for many in Tennessee: for the very first time, wine was available for purchase in grocery stores. Gliding in under the radar, perhaps because of all the hype surrounding the grocery store wine revolution, were many other changes to Tennessee’s alcohol-related criminal laws. One such legislative update changed the way that Tennessee handled a small and categorically difficult class of individuals: underage DUI defendants. These are people ages 18 to 20, who ... Read More »

An Alcohol Monitoring…Tattoo?

As DUI defense practitioners are well aware, a transdermal monitoring device such as a “SCRAM” device (a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring Device) is a prevalent but sometimes onerous tool in the bond condition, plea bargaining and sentencing processes. A client may be ordered to wear a SCRAM device ankle bracelet prior to trial, during probation, or as part of a compromised resolution of the case. The transdermal monitoring device continuously monitors a person’s blood alcohol level through skin contact ... Read More »

Blood, Breath and Birchfield v. North Dakota — Why it matters

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court published an important decision affecting our right of privacy.  Birchfield v. North Dakota[1] was presented to the highest court in the land due to the enactment of legislation in several states that penalize DUI  suspects who refuse to submit to a chemical test with not only drivers’ license suspension or revocation, but also criminal penalties. Such laws present the accused with an impossible choice—forgo the constitutional right to be free from warrantless ... Read More »

Tennessee Increases Jail Time for DUI Offenders with Six or More Convictions

Tennessee is again increasing penalties for multiple DUI offenders.[1] The 2016 Tennessee General Assembly amended Tennessee Code Annotated §55-10-402 to penalize more severely those who are convicted with six or more DUI convictions. This change applies to anyone committing an offense on or after July 1, 2016. As the law currently stands, a conviction for a 4th or subsequent DUI offense is a Class E Felony, which has a punishment range of 1-6 years. Accordingly, the law does not change ... Read More »

Cross the Fog Line 1 Time, Expect to be Stopped

Issued on the same day (February 11, 2016) as State v. Davis, (See, Cross the Center Line 1 Time, Expect to be Stopped), the Tennessee Supreme Court decided whether crossing the fog line is sufficient reason for an officer to stop the driver and investigate further.  The facts of State v. Linzey Danielle Smith were that the Trooper observed the Defendant crossing over the fog line with the two right wheels of her car and then twice touching it with ... Read More »

Cross the Center Line 1 Time, Expect to be Stopped

In February 2016, the Tennessee Supreme Court in two separate opinions ruled that, “It is well established that a traffic violation—however minor—creates probable cause to stop the driver of a vehicle.”  See also, Cross the Fog Line 1 Time, Expect to be Stopped. In State of Tennessee v. William Whitlow Davis, Jr., the officer turned on his blue lights and pulled the Defendant over after witnessing the Defendant cross over the double yellow center lane lines of a curvy road with ... Read More »