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Could DUI arrest mark end of Tennessee police officer's career?

The effects of a charge of driving under the influence tend to be felt long before any actual resolution of the case. Penalties often tend to follow the mere leveling of drunk driving charges in Tennessee, which is why contacting an experienced attorney early is recommended.

The reality of that scenario may be settling in for a man in Dyersburg who was arrested after a traffic stop over one recent weekend at the end of last month. The 57-year-old individual is in his 20th year as a member of the local police force and holds the rank of Lieutenant. But in light of his arrest and a charge of DUI, officials in Dyersburg say he has been put on administrative leave without pay and could face further action from the Internal Affairs Division.

His future on the force apparently hinges on the outcome of the official investigation of the circumstances of the case. 

At the time this is written the probe by the Tennessee Highway Patrol is reportedly still underway. The status of the criminal charges is not clear.

According to the THP, a trooper observed the defendant driving along U.S. Highway 51 in Lauderdale County early on the morning of March 23. The trooper says he witnessed the vehicle drift over the center line and then drift over the fog line on the right side of the road. That's when the stop was made.

In circumstances such as this, it is important for a person who has been pulled over to understand that they have a right to remain silent. The individual apparently didn't choose to exercise that right in this case, however.

According to the THP, when he was asked if he'd been drinking, he said he had. Officials say the man also submitted to two breath tests, both of which came back indicating he was slightly over the legal limit.

Source: Dyersburg State Gazette, "DPD lieutenant placed on administrative leave after DUI arrest," March 26, 2014

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