Even though we are in uncharted territory everyone at Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. wants you to know we are here for you. read more
Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers
Call For A Free Consultation
View Our Practice Areas

Probable cause and breath tests in Tennessee DUI cases

There are many ways to identify drunk drivers in Tennessee and across the country, according to NHTSA. However, prosecutors tend to rely on toxicology test results showing a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher in DUI cases. These tests may be performed using breath testing equipment or blood tests, but police officers must have probable cause to pull a vehicle over and order such a test.

Police sometimes suspect that motorists are drunk when they see vehicles being driven erratically. Physical signs of impairment that could lead to a breath test or blood test request include watery or bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and the odor of alcohol. In many cases, drivers give police the probable cause they need by admitting that they consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Breath testing equipment has become more sophisticated and reliable in recent years, but the results these devices provide may not be reliable in all situations. The results of breath tests are sometimes challenged when police officers have failed to follow strict protocols while administering them. In addition, medical conditions including diabetes and gastric reflux disorder can influence the outcome of these tests. Tennessee is an implied consent state; therefore, motorists who refuse to submit to a breath test risk losing their driving privileges for a year or longer.

While experienced criminal defense attorneys may encourage their clients to follow the lawful orders of police officers, they could also remind them of their constitutional rights and ask them to make no statements or admissions. Attorneys may be able to ask prosecutors to dismiss drunk driving charges when their clients have remained silent and the existence of probable cause is questionable.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers
735 Broad Street, Suite 800
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2913

Toll Free: 888-778-6575
Phone: 423-933-2738
Fax: 423-266-5211
Chattanooga Law Office Map

Review Us
735 Broad Street, Suite 800