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March 2019 Archives

Health issues and field sobriety test

If you have been stopped by a police officer and were subsequently arrested for suspected drunk driving in Tennessee, it will be important that you learn about the different elements of your arrest and how these may help you defend yourself against the charges. One of the elements of a drunk driving investigation is the administration of field sobriety tests. These tests all have known failure or inaccuracy rates and your health may well be a contributor to your inability to pass one or more of them. 

Is it legal to repair an IID yourself?

Tennessee law may require you to install an ignition interlock device under certain conditions, such as if you get a conviction for a DUI. These devices have relatively strict rules governing their maintenance, installation and use. Maintaining the device would be your responsibility, but you would not be allowed to do the repairs yourself.

Are designated drivers a safe option?

If you are like many Tennessee residents, you may enjoy having drinks when going out with friends for dinner or spending a night out on the town. Traditionally, it is the rule of thumb to designate a driver to transport you safely if you plan on drinking. However, a study shows that designated drivers may not always be the safest option.

Arrested for DUI for Taking Ambien in Tennessee ?

Can you be arrested under Tennessee law for taking Ambien while driving? The short answer is yes. Under Tennessee's DUI law, one can be charged even with a valid prescription from a doctor. T.C.A. 55-10-401 (1) sets forth, "Under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, substance affecting the central nervous system, or combination thereof that impairs the driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle...." Ambien is a central nervous system depressant. It is not a defense to a Tennessee DUI charge to have a valid prescription pursuant to T.C.A 55-10-411(e).

Factors that can affect breath test device accuracy

Anytime a Tennessee law enforcement officer stops you and believes you have been drinking, he or she will likely ask you to submit to a breath test conducted using with a breath testing device. The point of the breath test is to assess your degree of intoxication and determine whether you drank more alcohol before driving than the law allows, and, depending on its results, you may end up facing a driving under the influence charge.

Using forensic science as evidence in court

While there are many types of evidence that can be used to prove a suspect innocent or guilty of committing a crime, not all types are deemed reliable. In fact, some types of evidence may be misconstrued or used to create false data that can lead to the wrongful conviction of an innocent person. This includes a host of forensic methods, such as bite mark analysis, microscopic hair analysis and blood analysis. Some of the methods used to obtain evidence regarding a case are unable to provide consistent and reliable results indicating that a person is connected to a crime.

Board of Nursing Refuses to Discipline Tennessee Nurse

Last week the Tennessean reported that the Tennessee Board of Nursing refused to discipline a nurse involved in the death of a patient. RaDonda Vaught made a medication error while she was employed at Vanderbilt Hospital which resulted in the death of a patient. Ms. Vaught faces criminal charges for reckless homicide but still has her Tennessee nursing license.

Drunk driving charges and birthday celebrations

People drink for many different reasons, whether they regularly visit a local bar after work, frequently drink at home as a result of alcohol addiction or celebrate a special occasion with alcohol even though they rarely consume alcohol. Many people drink on their birthday and they may consume alcohol at their home, at a friend’s house or at a business establishment as they celebrate their birthday. Unfortunately, some decide to get behind the wheel afterward, which can result in a variety of harsh consequences. If you plan to drink alcohol during your next birthday party, or at any other time, it is pivotal to stay off of the road until you have sobered up completely.

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