It has ben a busy time in the legislature this year about DUI law in TN. There was huge push to make it a DUI per se violation if you had most any drug in your system even if it did not impair you. It was proposed that it could be a defense if you had a prescription but it was up to the defendant to prove that. The last time I checked in both the U.S. and TN constitution it is the burden of the government to prove the case not the other way around. The other change proposed was if you were in control of your vehicle anywhere in the state and impaired it was a DUI case. That could include your home, golf course, farm, ect… The legislature last year included driving as a component of driving under the infuence (imagine that) this year it was proposed to taking the driving part our of the statue. Fortunatley this has all been deferred for a closer look this summer so for now the citizens are safe from bringing back prohibition.
April 21, 2011
March 23, 2011
Four members of the U.S. Senate have sent a letter to the leading soical and internet groups asking that they withdraw the apps that tell when and where DUI road blocks are. That is interesting from a couple of points. (1) What about freedom of speech and the right of people to talk or write and publish what they wish. (2) One of the requirements of a legal sobriety check point is notice to the public that a roadblock will be in place. It looks to me as though the social media is helping enforce the law. Maybe its just me but should a person who is elected to write laws research the legality before making public statements.
March 17, 2011
We are still working through the legilslation that was passed last year and fighting the constitutional battles and our lawmakers are already looking how to push through new law. Has been proposed that intrlock be on all cases with a BAC test. The lawmakers are looking to change the statutory language they made last year about actual driving being part of the DUI crime, (which makes sense) they want to go back to the old law to make it easier for prosecutors to win. Never mind protecting the rights of the people from over zealous prosecution. It will be intresting to see what laws come out this year as we continue to fight from those of last year.
February 28, 2011
Interesting how cases can be similar and the lack of investigation. Two cases where the accused has a minor accident with no damage (first question is this really and accident) the person leaves and has no police contact until 3-4 hours later. How does the government expect to prove that a person was impaired while driving if there was no contact or witnesses for over 3 hours. The question I am pondering why charge DUI and not just leaving the scene. I quess the need to make quota’s is still prevelant and not worry about what we can prove. Maybe they person will just plead guilty and not talk to anyone about their rights.
February 24, 2011
Spoke on Tuesday afternoon along with Assistant DA Kyle Anderson to the Nashville Bar Association concerning the new DUI laws. Was a good turnout and a good exchange of information. It was good to hear the State’s perspective on the new laws and how some of them came to be. A thank you to Kyle Anderson for as he said “stepping into the lions den” to give us some information. It will be interesting the next couple of months to see how some of these laws play out and what changes are proposed by the legislature for 2012.
February 11, 2011
The uncertainty of the law conerning a person charge with a second or more DUI and the right to bond is still brewing. In Davidson County Judge Fishburn has stood up to the law and stated it is unconstitutional and people here are being afforded bond. The battle is still raging in other counties throughout the state.
The law about restricted license, may be a benefit to poeple that do lose there license. The law that went into effect on January 1, 2011. It lists certain people that will be required to have an interlock on their car for it to start. The benefit is that all people can request the interlock and if you have it then you have no resctiction as to time and location you can drive. After a review of the law it is the opinion of the Department of Safety that a person even though charged in 2010 can use this upon a loss of license in 2011 this is good news for the hard working folks in the state. The one issue that I have not seen litigated is the new Implied Consent law and the arguing it before the General Session Court. The question becomes what role will motions play in General Session Court, and what is the proper appeal process. That is question that will be fought out in the courts next. As always the ever changing DUI statue will keep all parties busy with litigation.
January 24, 2011
A court in Nashville ruled that the law that does not allow bail for multiple DUI offenders is unconstitutional and has ordered the commisioners to set bail. He will revisit the issue in thirty days to see how it is going. The sponsor of the legislation said in an interview that he worked on the bill for two years and no one mentioned there may be issues. I wonder who he talked too?
January 19, 2011
It has been awhile since anything posted the holidays and researching the consequences of the new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2011. The most pressing is the denial of bond to persons that have had more than one DUI in the last 10 years. Steps have been made to ensure people are being afforded a bond but the fight is still brewing as to the delay. On the other main front is that of challenging the implied consent in the lower court. That fight is in the early stages but it appears that the prosecutors are preparing for a fight as an article from the District Attorney’s Conference has sent out a memo throug out the state to contest all matters and in a not too flattering way about “prosecutors not hiding under a table and wrining hands and wipe the sweat from their brow with the defense attorney’s silk hankerchief” the conference goes on to attack what they call the ” wealthy, nattily dressed DUI defense specialist”. This is the coment of those elected to protect and serve the citizens of this State. As a DUI defense attorney I will continue to fight the government as they continue to stomp on the rights of those wrongly accused.
November 4, 2010
You are thinking of the holidays and the joy of the season. Well effeective January 1 at 12:01 A.M there are a ot of changes to DUI in TN. If you have had a prior DUI in the last 10 years you will be denied bail and sit in jail 2-5 days on a misdemeanor (you get bond for murder), If you refuse to take the test the government will try to take your license within 30-45 days rather than letting you have a complete hearing on your whole case. Depeding on the facts of your DUI you may have to have interlock on your vehicle to drive and also there may be mandatory notice to your employer. While I do not condone drinking and driving it seems that more and more rights of citizens are being taken away for a misdemeanor charge. There will be interesting litigation in this next year.
July 19, 2010
The legilsture in TN was very busy with neew DUI laws, I will cover the changes in the next few blogs. I apologize for the few updates lately been in court a lot. The first nes change that went into effect July1, 2010 is the way of calculating the look back period for multiple offender cases. The law previously was you calculated DUI offenses conviction date to conviction date. Meaning if you were able to continue a case long enough you could move the case out of the time frame for a multiple offense. This has been an issue for years with the DA’s office. The law now is after July 1, 2010 to calculate a multiple offense it is offense date to offense date. expample if you cot arrested July 2, 2000 and again July 1 2010 you would be a DUI 2nd the time when your case is resolved is no longer and issue it is truly DUI’s with in a 10 year period. On some occasions the DA can go back 20 years. More on the updates later this week when we look at interlock and drivers licenses.