A drunk driving conviction can be devastating for any person. Not only can you lose your driving privileges, you can also be sentenced to jail and be saddled with a criminal conviction.
The fact alone that we have spent at least three blog posts discussion Tennessee's implied consent laws should tell you something: the law is complex, and an experienced DUI defense lawyer is important to have by your side when facing an arrest or charge.
While the idea of a DUI seems simple in itself (someone is accused of driving under the influence) DUI laws are actually quite complicated. The laws vary from state to state. Penalties will vary. Authorities' rights might vary. Someone who is suspected and/or accused of driving drunk is easily confused.
Police can't say they don't have support from lawmakers in their efforts to combat drunk or drugged driving. Legislatures in states across the country, including here in Tennessee, have passed laws that allow authorities to conduct scientific tests to try to prove when someone is actually under the influence of an impairing substance.
As we have said on previous occasions on this blog, there can be a lot of things that can be wrong with a breath test for blood alcohol content. If the device hasn't been properly calibrated, it can deliver BAC results that may deserve to be questioned. The officer who administers the test might do it incorrectly, casting doubt on the numbers.
Back in October, we presented a post in which we talked about the questionable value of the numbers that may be collected as evidence in drunk driving cases. As any driver in Tennessee surely is aware, if police are able to show that test results indicate a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more, the likelihood of conviction improves.
Tennessee law currently presumes that if you get arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and are asked by authorities to take one of various types of blood alcohol tests, you must comply. If you refuse, you could face serious consequences for violating the implied consent law. And, according to the statute, authorities are not required to get a warrant before asking for the tests.
If you choose to drink, hopefully you don't drink and drive. The risks that anyone in Tennessee faces from such behavior are something that is hammered home on a regular basis. If you drink and drive, you pose a threat to yourself and others on the road.
Medical marijuana is beginning to be accepted in more and more states. Not in Tennessee. In some states even recreational use of marijuana is now allowed. Not in Tennessee. If you are stopped and are suspected of driving impaired by marijuana, you could be arrested and charged.
Many police officers are very professional and work hard to perform their job well. But, in the real world, some are better than others. When a driver is stopped in Chattanooga on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer can carefully note the condition of the driver, their behavior, their competency in performing field sobriety tests, and anything else of relevance that would support an assertion of a DUI charge. This demands experience and skill and in a trial, may require a significant amount of time from the officer to prepare.