A couple of weeks ago, we discussed how police were going to begin enforcing the new “No Refusal” law in Tennessee. This law gives police the ability to seek a warrant for a blood sample to support a DUI charge if the driver refuses to give consent to the test. At least eight warrants have already been issued under the new measure.
In order to increase awareness of the law, police conducted a number of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in early July. This resulted in six warrants being issued in Maury County, one in Davidson County and one in Anderson County.
Prior to the enactment of the new law, drivers could refuse to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) test administered, but could then be found in violation Tennessee’s implied consent law. Under the implied consent law, all Tennessee drivers are deemed to have implicitly consented to taking a BAC test. If drivers refuse to take such a test they face the loss of their driver’s license for one year.
The new law takes this policy one step further. If a driver initially refuses, the officer can seek a warrant from a judge to force the driver to submit to a blood test.
Police, however, still have a duty to abide by proper procedures when pulling a suspected drunk driver over, and must demonstrate probable cause for a judge to issue a warrant. If you think any of your rights were violated during the course of a DUI stop an attorney can provide further advice about potential claims.
Source: Claims Journal, “New Tennessee DUI Law Leads to 8 Warrants for Blood Tests,” July 13, 2012.