Archive for March, 2011

The History of Field Sobriety Tests

You see them on TV, you may even see people attempting them on the side of the road.  Comedians call them “Stupid People tricks,” but field sobriety tests have existed as long as the enforcement of DUI laws.  In this week’s podcast, host Steve Oberman will discuss the history and development of the standardized field sobriety tests used by law enforcement to assist in the detection of impaired motorists.

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Additional information about the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests can be found on the Oberman & Rice websites at www.tndui.com and www.duiknoxville.com.  You may also contact Steve or Sara for more information by calling (865) 249-7200.

 

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When Will Your Prior DUI Conviction Be Used Against You?

Understanding when and if a prior conviction for Driving Under the Influence can be used against you to increase the penalties of a second or subsequent DUI conviction can be complicated and confusing.  In Tennessee, this determination has been further complicated by a recent change in the law (Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-403(a)(3)), which became effective July 1, 2010 and is discussed in more detail below.

To determine when a person is classified as a Tennessee DUI multiple offender, we first must answer the question: how far back does Tennessee look for prior convictions?  This time period is also often referred to as the “look back” period.  Typically, this “look back” period is 10 years, but depending upon the circumstances of the case, this period may be extended up to 20 years. Knoxville DUI attorneys Steve Oberman and Sara Compher-Rice are available to answer your questions about the Tennessee “look back” period and how it may affect your Tennessee DUI case.

The next question is how (or from what dates) is the “look back” period calculated?  This calculation is impacted by  the new Tennessee DUI law.  When examining the initial 10-year period, the calculation should be made as follows:

Arrests prior to July 1, 2010: Compute 10 years from the date of conviction for the current offense to the date of conviction of the previous DUI offense.

Arrests on or after July 1, 2010: Compute 10 years from the date of the current offense (current arrest date) to the date of the previous offense (previous arrest date).

In other words, the calculation has changed from conviction date to conviction date to now being determined from DUI arrest date to DUI arrest date.

Should you have any additional questions about the offense of DUI in Tennessee or the associated penalties, please visit the Oberman & Rice websites at www.tndui.com and www.duiknoxville.comSteve and Sara may also be reached by calling (865) 249-7200.

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Knoxville, TN Ignition Interlock Device Coupon (Free Installation)

As discussed in previous blog posts, New TN Ignition Interlock Device Laws–Part 1, New TN Ignition Interlock Device Laws–Part 2, and New TN Ignition Interlock Device Laws–Part 3, many Tennessee DUI offenders may be required by law to have an ignition interlock device installed their vehicle.

The Oberman and Rice Law Firm has discovered a fantastic coupon offering free installation and, in some instances, free first month’s lease for the Guardian Interlock device.  Click here to obtain a copy of this coupon.

This offer is only valid at the following authorized Guardian Interlock distributor:

National Auto Parts, Inc.
4733 Clinton Highway
Knoxville, TN 37912
(865) 687-6061

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A “Facelift” for Tennessee Driver Licenses

Beginning March 16, 2011 driver’s licenses issued by the State of Tennessee Department of Safety will have a new look! Tennessee landmarks will be displayed across the top, a new background design will be implemented, and measures will be implemented to prevent identity theft and make it easier for law enforcement officials to verify identification.  

The new format will be provided when your license is renewed.

The old Tennessee driver’s licenses will remain valid until they expire.  For more information and to see what the license will look like, click here.

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Driver’s License Reinstatement Following DUI Conviction

One consequence of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and related convictions, such as Implied Consent Violation, is the loss of the person’s Tennessee driver’s license.  Depending upon the facts of the case, the Tennessee driver’s license revocation can range from one year to more than ten years.  Once the revocation period expires, the person is not allowed to simply start driving. Rather, specific steps must be taken to have one’s driver’s license properly reinstated with the Tennessee Department of Safety.

Failure to reinstate your Tennessee driver’s license could result in your arrest if you drive while unlicensed.  In fact, a conviction for Driving on a Revoked, Suspended or Canceled Driver’s License could result in a mandatory jail sentence if your license had been revoked, suspended, or canceled as a result of a DUI conviction.  Eligibility for driver’s license reinstatement is not a defense to this crime.

To find out when your Tennessee driver’s license is eligible for reinstatement and to how to accomplish this goal, you may click here for detailed information relating to reinstating your Tennessee driving privilege. To obtain this information, you should be prepared to provide your Tennessee driver’s license/ID number.

If you have any additional questions about Tennessee driver’s license consequences of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction, Steve Oberman and Sara Compher-Rice are available to speak with you and answer your questions.  Steve and Sara can be reached by calling (865) 249-7200.  You may also find additional information about the crime and consequences of DUI on our firm’s websites: www.tndui.com and www.duiknoxville.com.

 

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Using Bail To Get Out of Jail

In this week’s podcast, Using Bail To Get Out of Jail, Steve Oberman explains the process for getting out of jail in Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases.

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If you have any questions about obtaining bail (also referred to as bond) in Tennessee or about the offense of Driving Under the Influence, feel free to visit the Oberman & Rice websites at www.tndui.com and www.duiknoxville.com.  You may also contact Steve or Sara by calling (865) 249-7200.

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