Know Your Rights when it comes to DUI/DWI’s
At Ridings Law Group, P.C. , we make every effort to inform you of your rights and to ensure that they are respected in any case where a DUI/DWI arrest is made. In mounting a strong defense, Attorney David Ridings knows that all the pieces of a solid defense must include the determination that your rights have not been violated during any part of the process. If you have been arrested for a DUI violation it is important to contact Ridings Law Group, P.C. right away.
Blood Tests and Breathalyzers
Only certified medical professionals are allowed to take blood samples for analysis, but anyone who has been trained to do so can take a breath sample.
The driver tested has the right to have another certified laboratory perform its own test on any sample that the driver gives.
The results of any chemical test done on a driver to determine his or her BAC or the presence of drugs in the driver’s system are admissible in a criminal case, as is the fact that an officer did not request a test. If the test showed a BAC of at least 0.08, it creates a presumption that the driver was intoxicated. This means that unless the driver can prove his or her sobriety by evidence more persuasive than the test result, the driver will be considered to have been under the influence.
Source: Tennessee Code Title 55 (Motor Vehicles) 55-10-407, 55-10-408, 55-10-410
New DUI Penalty Legislation
Details of New DUI Law
Tennessee DUI Law defines drunk driving or driving under the influence as the operation of a motor vehicle on any freeway, public road, street alley, etc… while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (legal prescription drugs or illegal substances) and/or operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.
By operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater you create a “reputable presumption” that you are intoxicated.
The state, in determining whether you are a multiple offender, can “look back” on prior DUI convictions for a period of ten (10) years (and possibly up twenty (20) years) when determining which number offense you are being charged with. The look back period on Tennessee DUI offenses means if you get 2 DUI offenses or more within a 10 year period the latter will be classified as a multiple offender, and subject to enhanced punishment. The way this works is the state can look back to your last DUI before the current one… and then go ten (10) years prior to that last one. For example, you are charged with a DUI in November of 2011, and you have a previous DUI in September of 2002, and one in December of 1992. The state can actually go back and get the one in 2002 (because it is within the 10 years), and then go ten years before that, getting the one in December of 1992, thus making this current one a DUI 3rd offense. It is a very harsh law, that can go back as much as 20 years.
If you’ve incurred a DUI arrest but haven’t been to trial, there is new legislation you should know.