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Tennessee DUI News

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 »

Don’t Count On The Minimum DUI Penalties

Richard Manley Floyd, a Knoxville Tennessee resident, learned the hard way that you don’t always get the minimum penalty.  With no aggravating factors such as an automobile wreck or injuries to anyone, Mr. Floyd received a jail sentence of 45 days instead of the minimum 48 hours for a first offense DUI conviction. The arresting Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper stopped Mr. Floyd for traveling 20 mph over the speed limit. Mr. Floyd refused all field sobriety tests and declined to ... Read More »

DUI and “The Scarlet Letter”

A “Scarlet Letter” bill designed to shame repeat DUI offenders into compliance with the law has recently been proposed in Mississippi. State Rep. Gary Chism drew attention for suggesting a “Scarlet Letter Tag bill” that would require individuals convicted of two or more DUI’s in the State of Mississippi to have a “Scarlet Letter” tag on their license plate.[1] The tag would be yellow with red writing on it and the idea behind the bill is to use social stigma ... Read More »

Don’t Do “Dewshine”

A tragically dangerous new concoction is being consumed by Tennesseans (and likely others) that can potentially lead to death. According to a recent USA Today article, there only four current cases (all originating out of Robertson County, Tennessee) involving teens consuming a newly created “death cocktail” as described by Donna Seger, medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center. The name given to this new poisonous cocktail is “Dewshine.” As the article details, “Dewshine” is a mixture of the well-known soft ... Read More »

Happy New Year and Buckle Up in Tennessee!

A recent amendment to a current Tennessee law will hurt offenders a little more in the wallet if they are convicted of driving without wearing a seatbelt in Tennessee. Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-9-603(a)(2) specifies the fines for driving without wearing a seatbelt in Tennessee. Since the law’s inception through 2015, a violation of this statute has been a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $10.00 fine for the first violation, and a $20.00 fine for a subsequent violation. Payment ... Read More »

Two States Considering Lowering the National Drinking Age

In a recent Inquisitr article, Scott Falkner discusses two states that are considering lowering the legal drinking age from 21years of age to 18 years of age. Minnesota and California are considering the change because of the litigation of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in the United States Supreme Court. Before jumping into the reasons Minnesota and California may lower the legal drinking age, a brief recap of why the legal drinking age was raised from 18 to to ... Read More »