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Tag Archives: driving under the influence

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 »

DUI by Prescription Drugs

During your next visit to your doctor, she prescribes a muscle relaxer, or a “nerve pill” or cough syrup (your choice). You stop by the pharmacy and take the prescribed amount while there because you need immediate relief. On the way home, you are stopped at a red light when you are rear-ended. Once the police arrive, you are ultimately arrested—even though you did nothing wrong! Can this be legal? Unfortunately, it occurs far too frequently. Most people are unaware ... 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 »

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 »

Alabama Governor Signs Law Impacting Alabama DUI Law for CDL Drivers

Yesterday afternoon Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law Alabama Act 2016-152 (Senate Bill 259), which alters the affect a DUI acquittal, dismissal or nolle prose has on commercial driver license holders.  The vast majority if DUI criminal prosecutions in Alabama have a companion, civil driver license suspension case, in which the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency attempts to administratively suspend the accused’s driver license for blowing over the legal limit or refusing to take a breath alcohol test.    People ... Read More »

Diabetes and DUI

Contrary to popular belief, police officers have no inherent skill and little training in detecting levels of intoxication. In fact, they are psychologically predisposed in a drunk driving investigation to “see” what they expect to see, disregarding any alternative explanations. Let’s take a look at one of those possibilities…..As everyone knows, diabetics commonly experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). And what are the symptoms? Slow and slurred speech, poor balance, impaired motor control, staggering, drowsiness, flushed face, disorientation — in ... Read More »

FAA Pilot Reporting Considerations

Are you a Pilot? If so, here are some DUI considerations you should know about. Being a licensed pilot means that you are qualified to operate two kinds of motor vehicles: those confined to the ground, and aircraft. Under ordinary circumstances you can consider these two forms of transportation to be separate realms, but there is one aspect in which they can intersect and not in a good way: if you run afoul of drunk driving laws, in Oklahoma or ... 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 »

What is “DUI Manslaughter” in Oklahoma?

If you are charged in Oklahoma for having committed a crime that resulted in the death of someone, under the legal definition of homicide you can find yourself being prosecuted along two basic paths: intentional homicide (that is, murder), or negligent homicide, which is also known as manslaughter. If the death of the other person was in connection with your driving of a vehicle while you were allegedly intoxicated, this situation will almost invariably take you down the manslaughter path ... Read More »