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Can you challenge a breathalyzer result?

In order to be found guilty of DUI charges for alcohol intoxication in Tennessee based on your blood alcohol level, the prosecution must prove that you had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. In Tennessee, this proof comes from either breath or blood testing.

DUI convictions come with long-term serious consequences. Even if your BAC is .08 or greater on a breathalyzer machine, this doesn't mean that you should plead guilty or accept the charges against you without a fight. There are several scenarios in which a skilled criminal defense attorney could argue that breath test results are inadmissible or unreliable.

Even non-prescription medications can cause serious side effects

When you wake up with a headache or facing cold symptoms, you may reach for an over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol, Advil, Aleve or Bayer (or a generic equivalent). You may assume that since these medications are readily available at pharmacies, discount stores, gas stations and supermarkets, they must be safe for everyday use.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Veterans and in-service asbestos exposure: 3 things to know

Military service is a privilege that comes with all sorts of peril. One of the risks that ought to be better known is in-service asbestos exposure.

Such exposure can lead to potentially deadly asbestos-related disease, including lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma (cancer that grows in the thin linings between the lungs), and peritoneal mesothelioma (cancer that grows in the lining of the abdominal cavity).

How can this risky exposure happen, when it's been known for so long that asbestos is so dangerous? Here are three things to know as you as you assess your personal situation.

The limitations of field sobriety tests

Many of us have seen, either in person or through a media representation, someone performing a field sobriety test (FST). There are a wide range of standardized and non-standardized tests used by law enforcement agencies across the country.

Some FSTs try to evaluate a potential defendant's mental state, while others assess physical reactions.

Common mental/thought process tests include reciting the alphabet without singing or saying it backwards. It is important to note that, while they may be persuasive to an officer, no mental/rational FSTs are widely accepted for standardized use.

Staying safe around swimming pools and spas

Though summer is winding down, Tennessee's temperate climate means that many of us still have several more weeks to take advantage of private or public pools to cool off. For many families, the ease of operation of soft-sided above-ground pools has made backyard swimming more accessible than ever before.

The fun and relaxation that comes with swimming or having a pool is generally a positive thing, but there are many hazards associated with swimming pools, all of which could result in serious injuries or even wrongful death.

How does Tennessee treat "open containers"?

The 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) is a federal law to reduce the amount of in-vehicle alcohol consumption. As a result of TEA-21, over 40 jurisdictions now have open container laws that extend to both drivers and passengers. In those areas, no vehicle occupant can have access to an open bottle, can, flask or other container on which the seal has been broken or any liquid extracted.

Some states - Tennessee included - don't have laws that comply with the protocols set forth by the TEA-21 on the topic of open containers. Tennessee's law, found in Tennessee Code Section 55-10-416, is somewhat unique in that it only applies to the vehicle's driver.

Avoiding Summer Road Hazards

Summer is a time to celebrate. Students enjoy a lengthy break, families make memories on the road, teens get their first taste of the work force, and things are just a bit more laid back.

Unfortunately, car wrecks peak during the summer months as well. Here are some tips and pointers to help stay safe.

What does it mean to be "in control" of your vehicle?

One of the elements the prosecution must prove to get a DUI conviction is that you were "in control" of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense. Though the exact definition of what it means to be "in control" varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is important for you to know that this doesn't necessarily mean you need to be actually driving in order to get a DUI.

Tennessee code section 55-10-401 says that it is illegal to drive or "be in physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle" while under the influence of a drug/intoxicating substance or with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Notice that the legislature has specifically delineated that motion of the vehicle is not a necessary prerequisite to a DUI charge. The law doesn't say the vehicle has to be moving.

Staying safe as a pedestrian

Injuries in pedestrian accident cases can be particularly severe. The reason for this is straightforward: pedestrians don't have the benefit of airbags, steel frames, seat cushions, helmets, protective gear, and other safety devices like vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, or even bicyclists do.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 80 pedestrians die in Tennessee annually, representing about eight percent of the overall traffic accident fatality rate.

Larger states such as New York (over 330 pedestrian deaths each year) and California (over 700 pedestrian deaths each year on average) have more overall fatalities. All of these deaths are tragic.

There are actions that both pedestrians and vehicle operators can take in order to help share the road safely and prevent accidents.

Protection Against Asbestos Exposure: 5 FAQs for Homeowners and Renovators

If you're the owner of an older home, or you work on managing, demolishing, or renovating old buildings, you naturally want to protect yourself and your family against the risk of potentially harmful asbestos exposure.

Here are five questions to ask as you do this.

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