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Author Archives: 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 .05% Become the New National Legal Limit?

On March 8, 2017, Utah lawmakers passed legislation to lower the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level to 0.05%.[1] On March 23, 2017, Utah’s governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law, making Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the nation.  The lowered blood alcohol limit will take effect in the state on December 30, 2018—just before New Year’s Eve.[2] This is a distinct and separate law from Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence. Accordingly, even if the ... Read More »

What Actually Happens In Your Body When You Get “Drunk”?

Drunk driving can lead to being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being arrested can add to the serious “hangover” you may have after consuming that much alcohol. But most people are not aware of what actually happens to your body once all that alcohol is consumed. Ash M. Richter has authored an article, “Every Time You Get Drunk, This Is What Happens To Your Body And Your Brain,” that explains the science behind the hangover. The consumption of ... 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 »

DUI by Prescription Drugs

During your next visit to your doctor, she prescribes a muscle relaxer, or a “nerve pill” or cough syrup (your choice). You stop by the pharmacy and take the prescribed amount while there because you need immediate relief. On the way home, you are stopped at a red light when you are rear-ended. Once the police arrive, you are ultimately arrested—even though you did nothing wrong! Can this be legal? Unfortunately, it occurs far too frequently. Most people are unaware ... 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 »

3 Ways to Help a Loved One Through Addiction

When a loved one has fallen into a habit of addiction, regardless of the substances, it is stressful for all involved. You’re concerned about their health, about their rate of recovery, and you might be worried about legal repercussions. Helping your loved one through the recovery process is a long road but certainly one the person needs. Support is a key component in recovery. Here are some ways you can help your loved one through addiction and treatment. Collect Resources ... Read More »

Blood, Breath and Birchfield v. North Dakota — Why it matters

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court published an important decision affecting our right of privacy.  Birchfield v. North Dakota[1] was presented to the highest court in the land due to the enactment of legislation in several states that penalize DUI  suspects who refuse to submit to a chemical test with not only drivers’ license suspension or revocation, but also criminal penalties. Such laws present the accused with an impossible choice—forgo the constitutional right to be free from warrantless ... 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 »

Cross the Fog Line 1 Time, Expect to be Stopped

Issued on the same day (February 11, 2016) as State v. Davis, (See, Cross the Center Line 1 Time, Expect to be Stopped), the Tennessee Supreme Court decided whether crossing the fog line is sufficient reason for an officer to stop the driver and investigate further.  The facts of State v. Linzey Danielle Smith were that the Trooper observed the Defendant crossing over the fog line with the two right wheels of her car and then twice touching it with ... Read More »