Most drivers in Tennessee who are pulled over and charged with DUI have never heard of a woman known as Dollree Mapp, nor of the U.S. Supreme Court case that bears her name. Mapp v. Ohio is not as famous as other criminal cases like Miranda, but for a suspect in a DUI, the Mapp case may be vitally important.
'Tis the season for holiday jingles, festive decorations and lots of pretty lights. Unfortunately, for some drivers, those blinking lights may not be on a tree, but on a Tennessee Highway Patrol or Chattanooga Police Department vehicle at a sobriety checkpoint.
Thanksgiving travel throughout Tennessee is expected to reach the highest levels since 2007, with more than a million motorists on the roads of the state.
Law enforcement officers are given a great deal of authority and discretion. After all, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper or a Chattanooga Police officer, if they observe that your vehicle has a taillight out or you weave in and out of your lane, they can pull over and have a word with you.
According to a local newspaper, the answer is apparently yes.
When you are stopped by the Chattanooga police or a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper, it is always recommended that you remain calm, greet the officer politely and follow their instructions. And the public expects that an officer will treat them professionally and with courtesy, even if they have been pulled over for a serious offense, like a DUI.
A drunk driving conviction in Tennessee is never a good thing. It means the local Chattanooga Police Department or the Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled you over and successfully prosecuted you for a DUI, presumably because a breath test or a blood test produced a Blood alcohol content (BAC) of greater than 0.08, the limit in Tennessee and all other states.
In 2011, Tennessee began a program, using a curriculum from a Kentucky-based program, to help reduce the rate of recidivism for DUIs in the state. The program, known as "Prime for Life" became the standardized curriculum in the Tennessee DUI schools.
Last week, we were discussing Field Sobriety Tests, (FST) and it turns out there are standardized types of these tests that most jurisdictions use. The most common are the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), which are recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They were created to enable law enforcement a method of determining impairment from drivers that would have more validity than merely the officer's "gut feelings."
If you are stopped in the Chattanooga area on suspicion of a DUI, you will be likely be given a field sobriety test by the officer who stops your vehicle.