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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.

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 »

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 »