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Author Archives: 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 at the University of Latvia School of Law in 2019. 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.

Will Hawaii Be The Next State With A .05% Per Se Blood Alcohol Level?

Hawaiian legislators are again considering lowering Hawaii’s “legal” blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from 0.08% to 0.05% according to KITV, Channel 4 in Honolulu.  According to a news report, State Sen. Angus McKelvey has introduced such a bill.  Utah is the only other state in the nation with such a low per se alcohol level. Hawaii Alcohol Policy Alliance Director Rick Collins said about 30% of car crashes in Hawaii involve alcohol. But does that mean that drivers with alcohol levels ... Read More »

New Study Published: 20% of Deaths of Young U.S. Adults Caused by Excessive Alcohol Consumption

On November 1, 2022, the JAMA Network Journals of the American Medical Association published an article suggesting that an estimated 20.3% of deaths among adults aged 20 to 49 years were attributable to excessive alcohol use and that greater implementation of evidence-based alcohol policies could reduce this proportion.  During the 2015-2019 study period, the average deaths of adults aged 20 to 64 years was lower–only 12.9%, but still a number that is far too high if the study’s conclusions are ... Read More »

Technology To Prevent DUIs Moving Faster Than Preventing Speed-Related Crashes

In a story published by CNN, and as previously noted on this website, the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) recommendation of alcohol impairment detection systems is moving forward.  See “Will The 2021 Infrastructure Legislation Make Drunk Driving A Thing of the Past?” and “Apple Developing iPhone Feature to Prevent Drunk Driving.” The NTSB 2017 Safety Study, “Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles,” however, is not moving as quickly.  As reported by CNN, “the NTSB also suggested the National Highway Traffic ... Read More »

Bail Conditions Changed for DUI Defendants in Tennessee

As of July 1, 2022, when a judge determines the amount and conditions of bail to be imposed upon a defendant who has been charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), or a related offense, the court shall require the defendant to operate only a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device if: (i) The offense resulted in a collision involving property damage; (ii) A minor was present in the vehicle at the time of ... Read More »

Toughest Vehicular Homicide Penalties Are Now In Tennessee

DUI penalties in Tennessee just got much worse if someone is killed as a result of intoxication.  As of July 1, 2022 the State of Tennessee will carry the toughest penalties in the United States due to its new “Truth in Sentencing” law, amending T.C.A. §40-35-501. Those committing the crimes of Vehicular Homicide Resulting From Intoxication and Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (together with other specified violent crimes) will require the defendant to serve a mandatory 100% sentence. Those convicted of certain ... Read More »

4 Ways to Better Your Chances In Court

When you have to appear in court, particularly in defending your DUI related case, there are definitely some “tricks of the trade” to increase your chances of success.  Appearing in an unusual environment for the first time can be downright frightening—particularly when you aren’t familiar with the rules and behaviors that are expected.  Most lawyers will discuss these in detail with their clients, but if your lawyer has neglected to do so, or you have decided to represent yourself, allow ... Read More »

Will Alternative Sentencing Become More Available for DUI Offenders in Tennessee?

In proposed 2022 legislation introduced by Tennessee Senator Stevens and Tennessee Representative Farmer, the sheriff or chief administrative officer of a local jail or workhouse would be authorized to use alternative facilities for the incarceration of an offender convicted of driving under the influence regardless of whether the local jail or workhouse has space available. HB2432 and SB2584 is a major change from current law, but makes a lot of sense given that most DUI offenders are non-violent.  The Tennessee ... Read More »

New Obstacle Proposed to Regain a Tennessee Driver License after a DUI Conviction

A 2022 proposed Bill filed jointly by Tennessee Senator White (SB2736) and Tennessee Representative Ogles (HB2270)would amend current law so that a person who was prohibited from driving due to a DUI conviction must, upon seeking reinstatement of driving privileges, provide the Tennessee Department of Safety with a report from an accredited laboratory demonstrating negative screening results for the substance that was the basis of the person’s conviction. The report must be dated within thirty (30) days of the person’s ... Read More »

Tennessee BUI Convictions May Affect DUI Penalties

2022 legislation proposed by Tennessee Senator White and Tennessee Representative Ogles would amend current law so that a prior conviction for the offense of boating under the influence must be treated the same as a prior conviction for driving under the influence of an intoxicant for purposes of determining punishment for a violation of driving under the influence of an intoxicant.  Likewise a conviction for driving under the influence of an intoxicant (or related offenses) must be treated the same ... Read More »

DUI Convictions Prohibit Handgun Carry Permits in Tennessee

A client of mine have recently inquired about the effect a DUI conviction would have on their ability to obtain a handgun carry permit.  I explained that even though a 2021 Tennessee law (T.C.A. §39-17-1307(g)) essentially eliminated the general requirement for certain individuals to obtain a handgun carry permit, certain locations within the State may still require a handgun carry permit.  See, e.g., T.C.A. § 39-17-1311.  In addition to suspending or revoking a handgun carry permit for a variety of ... Read More »