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Tag Archives: Steve Oberman

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 »

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 »

Don’t Count On The Minimum DUI Penalties

Richard Manley Floyd, a Knoxville Tennessee resident, learned the hard way that you don’t always get the minimum penalty.  With no aggravating factors such as an automobile wreck or injuries to anyone, Mr. Floyd received a jail sentence of 45 days instead of the minimum 48 hours for a first offense DUI conviction. The arresting Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper stopped Mr. Floyd for traveling 20 mph over the speed limit. Mr. Floyd refused all field sobriety tests and declined to ... Read More »

College Students and Substance Abuse

Survey Suggests College Students have a High Risk of Substance Abuse A recent survey suggests that college students are less likely than those not attending college to be warned by healthcare professionals of the risks and dangers of abusing drugs or alcohol. This survey is extremely troubling because current college enrollees are “binge drinking” or drinking to an extreme in a short period of time. The results of the survey raise the question- why are these young students in college ... Read More »

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol? Not if this High-Tech Device is Operational.

Development of high-tech equipment named the “Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety” (DADSS) aims to keep potential drunk drivers off the road. In a recent article written on timesunion.com by Tatiana Cirisano, this device will attempt to detect the driver’s blood alcohol content by using breath and touch tests. If the DADSS detects alcohol over the legal limit (.08 percent in all states), the vehicle will shut down and become non-operational. DADSS is a collaborative research partnership between the Automotive ... Read More »

Some Say Hindsight is 20/20 — Can the Same Be Said for Body Cameras?

Across our country police officers are using body cameras to videotape arrests. ABC News posted an article discussing the advantages and disadvantages of body camera use by police officers. A vendor with a photograph of a body camera and more information is: BodyCam. Some experts claim that body cameras will force police officers to follow procedure and allow for every moment at the time of the incident to be documented and reviewed.  Others claim the equipment is too cumbersome or ... Read More »

Tennessee Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign Cancelled Because of Impaired Judgment

Tennessee residents are familiar with the Governor’s Highway Safety’s Office (GHSO) ongoing campaign to deter drunk drivers. During the summer months, the GHSO has a reoccurring theme called “100 Days of Summer Heat Booze It and Lose It”. The main goal of this campaign is to prevent people from drinking and driving on Tennessee roads. Recently, the GHSO released a new campaign meant to target young males in Tennesseans bars and restaurants by printing coasters with an anti-drinking and driving ... Read More »

Breath Test Calibration Questioned

In a recent article published by WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, several Nashville defense lawyers are challenging the results of a specific breath testing device because of some calibration issues with the device that may have affected the results of the breath test. Calibration is a comparison of measurements – often of known samples so that when unknown samples are tested, they will be presumed to be accurate. The breath test device in question is the EC/IR II that is manufactured ... Read More »