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.
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.
The matter of implied consent can be confusing and misleading. Sure, implied consent laws do put drivers in a position of commonly having to give into authorities' request to take a breath test, but there are times when refusing chemical tests is not only wise but legal, too.
When an accident happens or when a driver is pulled over in a traffic stop, reasonable thinking can sometimes go out of the car window. Nerves kick in. Fear grabs a hold of a driver. Nerves and fear can make a driver vulnerable to the investigation tactics of police.
Increased DUI enforcement efforts in Tennessee took place over this past Labor Day weekend. The Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol worked together to coordinate the campaign in conjunction with state and local law enforcement.
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.
Yesterday, Tennessee law enforcement held police checkpoints across the state. The DUI checkpoints were not targeted at enforcement, but were mainly being used for research. The Tennessee Department of Safety wanted to see if its awareness campaign, aimed at reducing motor vehicle accidents, has had any impact on the state's drivers.
With summer just around the corner, many Tennesseans may be looking forward to boating outings on the state's lakes and rivers. This is also the season when Tennessee Wildlife Resource Officers may patrol for boaters under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many people may not be aware of the fact that just as you can receive a DUI for driving under the influence, you can also face charges for boating under the influence or BUI.
A bill recently passed the Tennessee House which would allow judges to compel drivers to take a blood test if they refuse to take a breath alcohol test at the time of arrest. The vote on the bill was 52-33, just two more votes than the required number to clear the chamber.