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Constitutionality of DUI blood test fees challenged

If you are arrested, you may be confused and overwhelmed. You may be fearful, not fully understanding everything that is going on in the process, and you may not know what to expect next. But even in that condition, you probably do expect that the system will function properly and that you will receive proper due process.

However, as parts of government are outsourced or demands are made that it should be run more like a business, other problems may develop. Depending on perspective, what might appear to be reasonable and unexceptionable, may become less obviously correct.

Take the fact that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) charges suspects who have been arrested on DUI charges for the processing of the blood test used to measure their blood alcohol content (BAC). This test is very important, as a measurement of greater than the legal limit of 0.08 is likely to be seen by a court as very compelling evidence of the driver's intoxication.

How does charging the suspect for the test alter the equation? It means the TBI has a financial stake in charging, in both senses of the term, as many DUIs as possible, as the blood tests will show on some accounting ledger as revenue.

Our firm has brought a case in Chattanooga to challenge the constitutionally of this charge.

The operation of the criminal justice system must be seen as maintaining the highest level of integrity. Respect for the law is diminished greatly when questions are raised as to motives behind arrests and prosecutions.

WRCBTV.com, "Local law firm challenges validity of DUI fees," Dan Kennedy, October 20, 2014  

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