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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.

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 »

Will The 2021 Infrastructure Legislation Make Drunk Driving A Thing of the Past?

There has been a lot of discussion both before and after the passage of President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, but there has been little emphasis on the effect it will have on DUI/DWI/OWI cases.  In particular, the “Advanced Impaired Driving Technology” portion of the new law (Section 24220) directs automakers to install new technology designed to stop drivers from being able to start or continue to operate the vehicle if it detects they are impaired by alcohol. According to the legislation, ... Read More »

4 Common Ways to Monitor DUI Offenders

As part of a DUI offender’s bond or probation, a court may require a person to ne monitored for alcohol or drugs.  The four most common types of monitoring systems are (in no particular order): Transdermal Devices, Ignition Interlock Devices, Portable Breath Testing Devices, and Drug Sweat Patches (to test for drugs).  These methods are also excellent ways to establish a “track record” to prove the defendant is not consuming alcohol even if not required by a court.  For instance, ... Read More »

Are gas stations liable for selling fuel to a drunk driver?

The answer, as usual, depends.  According to a decision released July 19, 2021, Tennessee and New Mexico are the only two states in the country recognizing a “duty of care” for businesses to withhold fuel from drunk drivers due to the dangers associated with driving under the influence.  The legal doctrine creating this duty is called “negligent entrustment.” In the 2021 New Mexico case of Morris v. Giant Four Corners, Inc., No. S-1-SC-37997, a man walked up to a gas ... Read More »

To-Go Alcohol Law in Tennessee is Extended

Tennesseans may recall that  Governor Lee signed an executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages for take-out.  Apparently, this order was so popular that the Tennessee legislature extended the law to allow “To-Go” purchases of alcohol to continue. However, the extension of the “To-Go” law is only for two years. The bill summary for Tennessee House Bill 0241 states, “Generally under present law, the holder of a license to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption ... Read More »

Tennessee Boating Under the Influence Penalties Increased

As of July 1, 2021, the penalties for boating under the influence in Tennessee will be substantially increased.  A number of Tennessee statutes will be amended by Senate Bill 0246 in the Tennessee 112th General Assembly to accomplish these changes.  In essence, the change in the law adjusts the penalties for boating under the influence (BUI, BWI) to align with the current driving under the influence (DUI) penalties. The Bill summary states: “This bill clarifies that the offenses of vehicular ... Read More »

Save Time at the Tennessee DMV

First-time driver license and ID applicants; new resident applicants; and REAL ID applicants can now upload some identifying documents online before going to get their drivers licenses and other similar services in order to save time at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Driver Services Center. The link for these services may be found here. These applicants should allow five business days for their documents to be reviewed. The approved uploaded documents must still be presented at a ... Read More »

Are Takeout Cocktails Here to Stay?

One of the positive changes brought about by the pandemic occurred when many state and local government allowed customers to take pre-mixed cocktails outdoors in expanded dining areas.  According to Yahoo! news, 33 states and the District of Columbia pass emergency orders allowing outdoor drinking. Quoting the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! news reports that Washington, D.C., “Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio, and Iowa have already made such allowances permanent, while other states extended permission into next year.” Those opposed to permitting outdoor ... Read More »

New DUI Enforcement Training Law Under Consideration in Tennessee

The Tennessee Senate has unanimously passed a law requiring law enforcement officers to undergo training on the proper testing procedures for use in investigating cases of suspected driving under the influence (DUI or DWI).  This training would be part of the annual in-service training required for certifications that occur on or after January 1, 2022. The law, if passed by the Tenn. House and signed by the Governor will amend T.C.A. Title 38, Chapter 8 and Title 55, Chapter 10, ... Read More »

Tennessee Trying to Increase BUI Penalties

On March 15, 2021, Tennessee Senate Bill 0246 was unanimously passed.  If the accompanying House Bill passes as well, as it appears it will, the penalties for Boating Under the Influence of an intoxicant (BUI) will be more closely aligned with the Tennessee penalties for Driving Under the Influence of an intoxicant (DUI). Furthermore, this new law clarifies that the offenses of Vehicular Assault, Aggravated Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homicide, and Aggravated Vehicular Homicide may be committed by a person boating ... Read More »