Drivers who consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel of their cars can pose a threat to others on the roads, as they may not be in control of their actions. For this reason, Tennessee and the other 49 states in the nation have created drunk driving laws that are intended to deter individuals from climbing behind the wheel while intoxicated and to punish individuals who are believed to be under the influence while driving. This post will look at one of the state's most important drunk driving laws: implied consent.
Last week, the Law Office of Sam Byrd discussed field sobriety tests on its legal blog. Field sobriety tests are the assessments that Tennessee law enforcement officials may use to determine if their suspicions of drivers' intoxication are correct. However, just as any test may contain problems or inaccuracies, issues in the execution and assessment of field sobriety tests may result in innocent individuals facing serious drunk driving charges.
Once again, Tennessee motorists all across the state are in the midst of an enhanced drunk driving enforcement campaign.
In order for a Tennessee law enforcement official to make a drunk driving arrest they must first have probable cause to suspect that the individual is intoxicated and operating their motor vehicle. The officer may first believe that they have observed the individual driving their automobile in a manner that suggests intoxication, but once they make a stop they may need more evidence of intoxication in order to make an arrest. Field sobriety tests can provide them with the proof they need to make a drunk driving arrest.
We suspect that many readers of our criminal defense blog across Tennessee would quickly view as flawed the outcome of a police-citizen roadside encounter that occurred in another state.
If you're a Tennessee family heading down the road today or tomorrow toward grandma's house just prior to Thanksgiving, what do you think the kids might see in the rearview mirror?
Imagine for a moment that you're a Chattanooga resident or individual residing elsewhere in Tennessee who is stopped by a police officer or state trooper who suspects you are driving drunk.
"We go everywhere," says a captain with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office referencing law enforcers' reach when pursuing suspected drunk drivers on Tennessee roads.
It is important for readers of this Chattanooga criminal defense legal blog to note that it is impossible to speculate on the exact charges a person may face after a vehicle accident. As every case is influenced and guided by the facts present at the time the incident occurred it is imperative the readers who are facing charges for alcohol-related vehicle deaths seek their own counsel on their own legal dilemmas. No two cases will proceed in identical manners and therefore no prior outcome in a similar case may be used as a guarantee of an outcome in a future legal matter.
Most Tennessee motorists in Hamilton County and across the state routinely get behind the wheel with due awareness that their driving is being closely assessed at any given moment by police officers or troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. That close scrutiny is always there, of course, with weekends often signaling periods of heightened enforcement vigilance.