Last week, former University of Tennessee quarterback and radio host Erik Ainge was dismissed. Ainge had been charged with a DUI, "violating the implied consent law and a roadway lane violation," in July of 2013 by the Knoxville police. At the time of the arrest, a Knoxville police officer had noticed the pickup Ainge had been driving was swerving in traffic on I-40 early on a Sunday morning.
People generally assume that prosecutors bring drunk driving charges based on some amount of evidence. Whether that evidence is valid or sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a matter for a court to decide, and every defendant has a right to challenge the prosecution's evidence. After all, police and prosecutors do make mistakes, and no one should be penalized with fines or jail time based on false allegations.
In Tennessee DUI investigations, apparently one strike means a suspect is out. But should a DUI suspect be out of his constitutional right simply because of his history?
States technically have their own drunk driving laws, but a DUI-related matter is making a national stir. That's because there is a constitutional issue with the way that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is supposedly "collecting data" about drivers.
The opportunity to drive means different things to different people. For a teenager, it is a new sense of freedom and independence. For a mother, it is a way to get her kids (and herself) out of the house and to the store for the third gallon of milk for the week. For many Tennesseans, a license is necessary to earn a living and support a family.
Whether a person gets arrested and charged with drunk driving often depends on a particular test. Sure, Tennessee authorities will ask a driver questions and perhaps have him or her perform some field sobriety tests. But there is one test that tends to secure a DUI charge, and that is the blood alcohol or a breath test.
Why do you love your cellphone? Is it the camera that you are obsessed with? Is it the music options or GPS navigation that you are addicted to? Well, technology wizards have a new reason why some might want to kiss their cellphones -- or blow into them at least.
When you think about it, your blood probably seems like a pretty personal thing. It is daunting enough to have to have blood samples taken at the doctor's office, and when it is the police who are collecting the blood tests, there is an added level of sensitivity. In Tennessee, breath tests are apparently not enough in cases of suspected DUI.
The voice that Tennessee sports fans listen to on sports radio might sound a little bit more on edge. Last weekend, former UT quarterback Eric Ainge was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Knoxville.
Just when it's about time to officially welcome in summer, anti-drunk driving advocates are welcoming the enactment of a new DWI law in Tennessee. Starting next month, there is little forgiveness for anyone charged with driving while impaired, even a first-time offender.