Years ago I realized that I need to know as much as the police officers on DUI field sobriety cases, so I attended a class to get my Participation Certification on DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Then, I took the forty-hour Instructor Certification. Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Association has updated its training, I have taken updated courses.
A Tennessee DUI case has three DUI detection phases. They are the vehicle in motion phase, personal contact, and pre-arrest screening. For years, we used the manual to provide us the framework for defending DUI cases in Tennessee. This post will focus on the vehicle in motion phase.
One category of the vehicle in motion phase is problems maintaining proper lane position. The police are looking for the following:
- Weaving across lane lines
- Straddling a lane line
- Almost striking an object
- Turning a wide radius
Next are speed and braking problems:
- Stopping problems
- Unnecessary acceleration or deceleration
- Varying speed
- 10 mph or more under the speed limit
The third problem is vigilance problems:
- Driving without headlights at night
- Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action
- Driving the wrong way
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Slow to respond to the officer’s signals
- Stopping for no reason
Finally, there are judgment problems:
- Following too closely
- Improper lane change
- Illegal or improper turn
- Driving on other than designated roadway
- Stopping inappropriately in response to the officer
- Unusual behavior like littering
No detail is too small. The first step in defending a Tennessee DUI case is to determine the driving. One reason our defense team focuses on the driving component is it might lead to another defense. Police must have a traffic violation to make a traffic stop. If no traffic violation occurs, a motion may be filed to suppress the evidence. Did you notice what common traffic infraction was not included in this list of possible impaired driving? Speeding. It is something that most people who drive do every day. In our next post, we will discuss the personal contact phase.
If you are facing a DUI charge, contact our Nashville DUI lawyers at (615) 265-6383 to discuss your case with our team.