Archive for June, 2011

Tennessee Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers across the state are kicking off “Operation Dry Water,” part of a nationwide crackdown on Boating Under the Influence (BUI) cases. From mid June 2011 until the end of summer, Tennessee wildlife officers and other law enforcement are spending extended hours on Tennessee’s lakes and waterways on the lookout for Boating Under the Influence violators.

In this week’s podcast, host Steve Oberman provides a summary of the Tennessee laws relating to Boating Under the Influence. The issues and laws surrounding a Tennessee BUI case can be complicated and quite technical.  While this podcast provides an overview of the Tennessee BUI laws, Steve and Sara are happy to address any questions you have and can be reached by calling (865) 249-7200.

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Additional information about Boating Under the Influence (BUI), as well as the related crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), can be found on the Oberman & Rice websites at www.tndui.com and www.duiknoxville.com.

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Miranda Rights and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

On the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark opinion Miranda v. Arizona, I thought it would be appropriate to address one of the most frequently asked questions that we encounter at Oberman & Rice: The officer did not read me my Miranda rights; what are the consequences of this omission? Unfortunately, all too often I have to explain to a client charged with a Tennessee DUI that the failure of the arresting officer to advise him of his Miranda rights will essentially have no impact on his case.

Why? Although popular culture has made Miranda a household word, movies and television shows do not fairly depict the complexity of when Miranda applies or the remedy available when Miranda is not explained to a criminal defendant.  Generally, the prosecution cannot use statements made by a suspect during a custodial interrogation unless it first demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards to secure the privilege against self-incrimination (Miranda rights).  At issue most often is the definition of “custodial interrogation.”  You should consult an experienced attorney to determine whether the statements you made were pursuant to a custodial interrogation.  If so, your lawyer may be able to keep the prosecution from using those statements against you in court (also known as suppression of evidence).

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The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Field Sobriety Test (HGN)

Have you ever seen a law enforcement officer examining the eyes of a motorist along the roadside or on television?  Ever wonder what the officer is looking for?  The officer is most likely administering one of the three standardized field sobriety tests to help determine if the motorist is impaired.  In this week’s podcast, host Steve Oberman will provide a summary of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, also referred to as HGN, used by law enforcement to assist in the detection of impaired motorists.

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Additional information about the Tennessee offense of DUI 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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Tennessee Identification License (ID Only)

Individuals with certain Tennessee DUI convictions who are not eligible for a Tennessee Restricted Driver’s License, often question how they can obtain an official form of identification.  The Tennessee Department of Safety does offer an identification license that may be used for identification purposes only. Visit the Tennessee Department of Safety website by clicking here for more information about a Tennessee Identification License, including the documentation required to obtain your ID.  A list of Tennessee Driver Service Centers that provide the Identification License can also be found by clicking here.

Steve Oberman and Sara Compher-Rice are happy to answer any questions you have about your Tennessee Driver’s License or other dealings with the Tennessee Department of Safety.  Feel free to call one of us at (865) 249-7200.

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The One Leg Stand Field Sobriety Test

Have you driven by a police officer watching someone balancing on one leg on the side of the road?  Then you’ve likely observed someone taking the One Leg Stand test.  The One Leg Stand field sobriety test is one of three tests standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and used by law enforcement officers to assist in the detection of impaired motorists.

In this week’s podcast  Steve Oberman provides a summary of the Standardized One Leg Stand test. If you have not done so already, you should first listen to the previous podcast entitled “The History of Field Sobriety Tests,” which can be found by clicking here.

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Additional information about the Standardized One Leg Stand Test 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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