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Tennessee DUI News

Criminal Court Judge Provides First-aid For Crash Victim Set To Appear In Her Court

Reports from Albuquerque, New Mexico, tell of Judge Sheri Raphaelson stopping to aid crash victim Isaac Martinez.  On February 12, 2014 Mr. Martinez was on his way to Judge Raphaelson’s court for burglary charges, when the truck driven by his mother slid off the snowy road.  Judge Raphaelson, riding with her bailiff, saw the crash and stopped.[1] Raphaelson is trained as an emergency medical technician and mid-wife, and was able to keep Mr. Martinez calm until emergency personnel arrived on ... Read More »

New Technology to End Drunk Driving?

In August 2013, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief David Strickland wrote to the CEO’s of major automakers and urged them to continue supporting research and development of in-vehicle alcohol detection systems.  In 2008, research funded by automakers and the federal government began an effort to develop in-vehicle technologies that would prevent intoxicated drivers from starting and driving a car.  Although the Ignition Interlock Devices that are currently used accomplish this same goal, this new technology would differ significantly. Ignition ... Read More »

Legally Prescribed Medication May Lead to a DUI Conviction

I receive many calls from persons arrested for DUI by prescription drugs who want to use as their defense the fact that they were taking the dosage of medication prescribed by their physician.  Today, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are a normal part of daily life for many people—many of whom are surprised to hear that taking a legally prescribed medication can still lead to a DUI conviction. Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs may impair a person’s ability to operate a ... Read More »

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Re-Testing 2,800 Blood Alcohol Samples After Discovering a Mistaken Switch

The Knoxville News Sentinel (the local Knoxville newspaper) reported on a recent discovery that a TBI employee had mishandled and mistakenly switched the blood alcohol samples from two different people. This mishandling of evidence caused a man to be charged with DUI and vehicular homicide after he was involved in a fatal crash.  The incorrect sample showed that the man had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .24%—when his actual BAC was .01%.  The mistake was only discovered after the ... Read More »

Is DUI by Beer on the Decline?

Research Shows Flavor of Beer Alone Triggers Dopamine Release In a study conducted by Indiana University School of Medicine and reported in USA Today, researchers found that the flavor of beer alone is enough to trigger the brain to release dopamine, the chemical associated with pleasure and reward. The participants in the study received tiny spritzes of either Gatorade or their preferred beer (15 ml total over 15 minutes), so they were able to taste the beer without any intoxicating ... Read More »

Walking Under the Influence of an Intoxicant?

According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and reported in the Washington Post,  walking under the influence of an intoxicant may be more hazardous than driving under the influence of an intoxicant.[1] In 2011, 35% of pedestrians who were killed had blood alcohol content (BAC) levels above the legal limit for driving.  In those crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths, only 13% of the involved drivers had BAC levels over the legal limit. The data ... Read More »

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Takes Action on DUI Cases

As noted by James Nesci, another contributor to this blog (See his post of May 14, 2013), in May 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) met to consider reducing the legal blood alcohol limit to drive.  As reported by USA Today, CNN, and many other news organizations, the principal NTSB recommendation focused on reducing the per se legal blood-alcohol content limit while driving from .08% to .05%. How many drinks does a person need to consume in order to ... Read More »

Alcohol Inhalation: the Truth behind the Lies

Editor’s note:  Steve Oberman and the other lawyers at Oberman & Rice not only defend those accused of driving under the influence and related crimes, we are sincerely concerned about our clients.  As a service to those who feel the need to become inebriated by any means, and in our continuing efforts to educate the public about responsible consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants, we are publishing the following guest commentary authored by Matthew R. Lish, who, at the time ... Read More »

US Supreme Court Requires Search Warrants for Blood Draws in Many DUI Cases

New Tennessee DUI Defense? Many persons charged in Tennessee with the crime of Drunk Driving (DUI/DWI) may have a new defense in their arsenal.  On April 17, 2013 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the natural metabolization of alcohol in the bloodstream does not present a per se [automatic] exigency that justifies an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s search warrant requirement for nonconsensual blood testing in all drunk-driving cases.  Instead, the court determined that exigency in this context must ... Read More »

Strip Searches for a DUI Arrest? – Update

As a result of inquiries made regarding my earlier post discussing proposed legislation about allowing strip searches for DUI arrests and other misdemeanors in Tennessee, I am updating the information to better explain distinctions between legal decisions made in the federal court system and those made in the Tennessee court system.  These distinctions apply whether or not the case involves the issue of driving under the influence (DUI or DWI), but this post will address the issue as it relates ... Read More »