Failing a field sobriety test is not the basis upon which a drunk driving charge conviction in Tennessee should rest. There are so many things about these tests that can result in an officer coming to the wrong conclusion about a subject. Nor should a subject's past history color how police handle any given case, but such things happen frequently.
If driving under the influence charges follow, those accused should not give up hope. Rather, they should be contacting an attorney. The legal process is going to play out and working with a lawyer is the way to work toward achieving the best possible outcome.
Compiling the complete facts of the case is always a critical part of solid defense strategy. This is likely something that is underway in the matter of Erik Ainge. The former University of Tennessee and radio talk show host was taken into custody in Knoxville late last month.
According to the arresting officer, Ainge was driving his SUV on Interstate 40 at about 1:15 in the morning. The officer's report says he pulled Ainge over after witnessing his vehicle stray across the line of his lane and back again.
Ainge reportedly told the officer that he had been at a party and had served as a designated driver. His explanation for the apparent lane straying was that he had been texting behind the wheel.
The officer claims that Ainge didn't do well on field sobriety tests and refused a blood test. That led to his being arrested and charged with DUI, violating the state's implied consent law and a lane violation. Ainge was released several hours later after posting $500 bail.
In a statement issued after the arrest, Ainge eluded to past struggles with substance abuse, noting he has spoken openly about them. He says he expects to have more to say about the circumstances of this particularly incident once the legal process has run its course.
Source: WBIR.com, "Former Vol quarterback Erik Ainge told officer he was texting while driving," July 29, 2013