With summer just around the corner more motorcyclists will soon be hitting the road. May is designated as motorcycle awareness month, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) and Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security are encouraging drivers to be conscious of motorcycle riders on the road, and motorcycle riders to drive safely.
It is important to note that drunk driving laws in Tennessee apply to motorcycle riders as well as motorists. Just like the driver of a car, a motorcycle rider charged with DUI in Tennessee may face fines, license suspension, jail time and other serious consequences.
A spokesperson from the THP reports that “Of the 114 motorcycle fatalities on Tennessee roadways last year, 22.8 percent of them were alcohol-related.” Due to the high number of fatalities, law enforcement will be focusing on enforcing impaired driving laws with regard to motorcyclists.
If you are a motorcyclist that is pulled over on suspicion of DUI it is important that you know your rights. Be aware that you do not have to agree to take field sobriety tests. You also have the right to seek an independent blood test. Additionally, be conscious of the fact that you may be videotaped during the stop.
Motorcycle riders charged with DUI may want to consider seeking experienced legal guidance. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can provide information about your rights, discuss available defenses and advocate on your behalf. Examples of ways a DUI case may be challenged include discrediting the officer’s testimony, challenging the admissibility of evidence and challenging the legality of the stop itself.
Source: Nooga.com, Tennessee Highway Patrol announces increase in motorcycle fatalities this year, May 8, 2012.