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Tag Archives: DUI penalties

What is Fair Punishment on a DWI?

What are judges and prosecutors concerned with on a DWI? One of their main concerns is recidivism. Contrary to popular belief, the average recidivism rate for a first time DWI is approximately 21%[i]. Most people who get arrested for a first time DWI simply made a mistake. They will never be back in the system. In fact, most are going to punish themselves far greater than what a court or prosecutor could do to them. Will their alcohol BAC (breath or ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Third and Subsequent DUI Offenders Not Allowed To Purchase Alcohol?

Because the number of people receiving their third DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense is growing (751 persons in 2014 and 900 expected in 2015), Tennessee lawmakers have devoted much time and effort toward reducing the number of people who violate Tennessee Driving Under the Influence laws for a third or subsequent time. One solution has come in the form of a new proposed law. Endorsed by both parties, this legislative bill would ban people convicted of a third or ... Read More »

Felony DUI Law Coming to Colorado?

Last year, Senate Democrats in Colorado killed a bill that would have made repeat DUI offenses a felony offense in Colorado, much to the surprise and chagrin of the proposed law’s supporters. But now a Weld County state representative is trying again, with a new bill that, if passed, would classify a charged driver’s third DUI in seven years as a class 4 felony.  A class 4 felony carries a 2-6 year prison sentence followed by a mandatory 5 year period of parole.  The ... Read More »

Colorado DUI Case on it’s way to the U.S. Supreme Court

Arapahoe County prosecutors have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a District Court judge and the Colorado Supreme Court, which found that because the officer did not try to obtain a warrant before she ordered a blood draw on Schaufele, the results may not be presented as evidence. Thirteen other states have also filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to pick up the case. If the high court takes up the case, their decision will have national ... Read More »

How a DUI/DWI Will Impact Your Travel Plans to Canada

Under current Canadian law, a DUI or DWAI conviction in Colorado (or elsewhere in the U.S.) may make you a “criminally inadmissible person.” An “inadmissible person” cannot visit or stay in Canada because they have been convicted of certain crimes in, or outside of, Canada. Despite meeting eligibility requirements, foreign individuals from any country may still be criminally inadmissible to Canada due to previous criminal conduct, or the criminal conduct of their dependents. In particular, if you are convicted of a ... Read More »