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Tennessee DUI News

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 »

A Marijuana Breath Testing Device?

Breath testing devices are commonly used by police officers in their pursuit to enforce Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI/OUI, etc.) laws across the nation. These devices not only detect the presence of ethanol, but also attempt to quantify the amount of alcohol in one’s blood. Every state has adopted a per se limit of .08 percent of alcohol in the person’s blood. This means that if a person has a blood alcohol level (breath tests are also commonly used to ... Read More »

College Students and Substance Abuse

Survey Suggests College Students have a High Risk of Substance Abuse A recent survey suggests that college students are less likely than those not attending college to be warned by healthcare professionals of the risks and dangers of abusing drugs or alcohol. This survey is extremely troubling because current college enrollees are “binge drinking” or drinking to an extreme in a short period of time. The results of the survey raise the question- why are these young students in college ... Read More »

Citizen’s Arrest or Vigilante Justice?

A recent decision by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed that a private citizen may conduct a traffic stop on another private citizen. State v. Wilburn, (Tenn. Crim. App. 2015), was brought to the court’s attention on a certified question of law regarding the denial of the Defendant’s motion to suppress (make inadmissible) all evidence collected against him due to an unconstitutional traffic stop. The Wilburn case involved a driver being pulled over and eventually arrested by a ... Read More »

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol? Not if this High-Tech Device is Operational.

Development of high-tech equipment named the “Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety” (DADSS) aims to keep potential drunk drivers off the road. In a recent article written on timesunion.com by Tatiana Cirisano, this device will attempt to detect the driver’s blood alcohol content by using breath and touch tests. If the DADSS detects alcohol over the legal limit (.08 percent in all states), the vehicle will shut down and become non-operational. DADSS is a collaborative research partnership between the Automotive ... Read More »

Some Say Hindsight is 20/20 — Can the Same Be Said for Body Cameras?

Across our country police officers are using body cameras to videotape arrests. ABC News posted an article discussing the advantages and disadvantages of body camera use by police officers. A vendor with a photograph of a body camera and more information is: BodyCam. Some experts claim that body cameras will force police officers to follow procedure and allow for every moment at the time of the incident to be documented and reviewed.  Others claim the equipment is too cumbersome or ... Read More »