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Anticipated Changes in Tennessee DUI Legislation and Enforcement

Steve Oberman

In our efforts to monitor potential changes to the DUI laws in Tennessee, the lawyers at Oberman & Rice learned that yesterday (January 28, 2013), the Tennessee Department of Safety held a meeting to discuss the DUI Portion of the Governor’s new Safety Plan.  The non-technical portion of the plan reflects the following changes:

1) Future aggressive enforcement of DUI laws by

a. An analysis of arrest location data to facilitate & maximize enforcement; and

b. a 70% increase in DUI/DWI arrests by the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) over a 2-year period.

2) Over the next two years, there will be increased emphasis on treatment for repeat offenders by having the Commissioner of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services use resources to provide for treatment of indigents.

3) The DUI laws in Tennessee will be re-written and re-organized to make the laws easier to find and understand – not only for judges and lawyers, but also for the public in general.  Hopefully, the laws will be streamlined and correct the many redundancies that presently exist.  It is anticipated that these changes will not be substantive, but will instead focus to correct inconsistencies.

The lawyers at Oberman & Rice are concerned that a mandated increase in arrest rates will cause many innocent people to be arrested and introduced to our judicial system.  Blog readers may contact the author at Oberman & Rice, Trial Attorneys, to learn more about these important changes to Tennessee’s DUI laws.

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Steve Oberman

Steve Oberman

Since graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1980, Mr. Oberman has become established as a national authority on the intricacies of DUI defense law. Steve is a former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, co-author of a national treatise ("Drunk Driving Defense" published by Aspen/Wolters-Kluwer), and author of "DUI: The Crime and Consequences in Tennessee" (published by Thomson-Reuters/West). He has taught thousands of lawyers, judges, and members of the general public about the intricacies of this crime. Steve was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach American Criminal Law and American Trial Advocacy at the University of Latvia School of Law in 2019; in 2023 taught for a semester as a visiting professor at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Law in 2024. Steve has also presented at a number of judicial conferences in the United States and Canada as well as for law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Czech Republic Police Academy. As a Tennessee DUI attorney, Mr. Oberman has successfully defended over two thousand clients charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In 2006, Mr. Oberman became the first DUI lawyer in Tennessee to be recognized by the National College for DUI Defense as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of DUI Defense law.

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