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Breath Test Refusal/Implied Consent Archives

Do I have to cooperate with sobriety checkpoints?

In Tennessee, law enforcement has the legal authority to set up sobriety checkpoints. These are blocked areas of the road where every driver, or every few drivers, is stopped so officers can try to detect if the driver is intoxicated. If you are pulled over at a DUI checkpoint, however, you have rights and you should exercise them.

State court finds Fourth Amendment protects unconscious drivers

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, when a drunk driving suspect becomes unconscious, it creates "exigent circumstances" that make it unnecessary for the police to obtain a warrant for a blood test. This was after having found in a previous case that the police generally do need a warrant to obtain a blood test.

Soon all new cars could come with breathalyzers

If you're convicted of driving drunk in Tennessee, the court is likely to order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car. Much like a roadside breathalyzer test, an IID requires you to breathe into the device to get a reading on how much alcohol is in your breath. This is then translated to a blood-alcohol level.

SCOTUS: Warrant not needed for blood draw on unconscious driver

In the 2013 case of Missouri v. McNeely, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that subjecting someone to a blood test, which involves a needle stick, is much more intrusive than subjecting them to a breath or urine test. Therefore, it is a more serious intrusion into the person's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Potentially faulty blood test vials could jeopardize DUI cases

At least 7,800 DUI and other cases involving blood tests could be in jeopardy in Houston alone after a recall of blood testing vials. The Houston Forensic Science Center announced recently that a small portion of a lot of 240,000 vials were manufactured without a required preservative that keeps blood from clotting in the vials.

In the near future, cars may not allow drunk or dangerous driving

An array of cameras and sensors in upcoming Volvo vehicles could allow the cars to detect drivers who are intoxicated or who seem to be driving erratically or distracted. If bad driving is detected, the vehicle could take action by slowing down, contact an assistance service or even pull over and park, the company said.

Does breath test refusal use violate self-incrimination clause?

The Supreme Court of Georgia has just made an interesting ruling in the area of DUI. When someone refuses to take a preliminary breath test offered by police, that refusal cannot be used against them in the DUI trial. The justices reasoned that using a refusal against the driver would violate the Georgia Constitution's protection against self-incrimination.

Can the keto diet trick a breathalyzer into a false positive?

A DUI case in Texas was recently dismissed. The defendant performed well on a field sobriety test, but the police breathalyzer pegged him at well above the limit. According to his defense attorney, the reason was completely innocent: he was on the keto diet, and it had skewed his breathalyzer results.

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