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Tag Archives: DUI defense

Just How Robust is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test?

What does it mean for something to be robust? Some of the synonyms of the word “robust” are strong, sturdy or powerful. In 2007 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) undertook a study to see just how “robust” or “powerful” the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test was in the prediction of blood alcohol levels in humans. The study was titled “The Robustness of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test”, Southern California Research Institute, in conjunction with the U. S. Department of ... Read More »

What Actually Happens In Your Body When You Get “Drunk”?

Drunk driving can lead to being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being arrested can add to the serious “hangover” you may have after consuming that much alcohol. But most people are not aware of what actually happens to your body once all that alcohol is consumed. Ash M. Richter has authored an article, “Every Time You Get Drunk, This Is What Happens To Your Body And Your Brain,” that explains the science behind the hangover. The consumption of ... Read More »

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 »

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 »