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Tag Archives: driving while intoxicated

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 »

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 »

SCRAM part 2: It’s All Your Fault!

SCRAM part 2:  It’s All Your Fault! SCRAM stands for “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor.”  SCRAM measures alcohol that is eliminated through your skin.  It usually looks like two, small, black boxes that strap to your ankle. As discussed before, an increasing number of judges in Virginia rely on SCRAM to monitor clients before and, sometimes, after trial.  SCRAM is comprised of a fuel cell (like in a preliminary breath test and ignition interlock) and a computer.  The problem is ... Read More »

Why do I have to pay Virginia a “License Reinstatement Fee”?

Why do I have to pay a !@#$%^&* Virginia “License Reinstatement Fee” when I don’t even have a Virginia License? We’ve had a ton of these questions lately. Usually at least a couple of the caller’s favorite expletives are inserted as they rehearse all the costs they have already paid for a Virginia DWI: court fines & fees, ASAP & treatment fees, FR-44 insurance fees, and possibly even reimbursement of arrest costs to the city or county that arrested them ... Read More »

Powdered Alcohol Set To Go On Sale This Summer? In Oklahoma?

A new formulation of alcohol in powdered form has apparently been approved by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. What this will mean when it comes to state laws governing driving while under the influence of alcohol remains to be fully understood, but some states are already enacting legislation to restrict or even to prohibit the sale of the new product. The inventor of the new product has named it “Palcohol.” The formulation for how it is ... Read More »

SCRAM:  Before and After a DWI Conviction in Virginia?

SCRAM – the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor – is becoming more popular in Virginia courts both before and after trial.  SCRAM is an alcohol tester that straps on to your lower leg.  It typically consists of two black boxes secured by a locking strap. The most common use of SCRAM continues to be as a condition of bond. If you want out of jail before trial – you have to wear SCRAM. While a number of judges across Virginia require ... Read More »