Archive for June, 2012
At least two Tennessee laws have made it more difficult to defend persons accused of driving under the influence and, in another change, the DUI penalty when accompanied by someone under the age of 18 has increased.
The 2012 Tennessee Legislature amended Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-406, also known as the Implied Consent Law. This law applies when an officer requests the suspect to submit to chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine). The amendment clarified that an individual may be compelled to submit to a chemical testing if the testing is mandated by:
- A Court Order;
- A search warrant; or
- When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of another is guilty of vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, or DUI.
The Legislature also amended Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-402 to clarify that no defense to DUI exists when a person is under the influence of an intoxicant even if they are entitled to lawfully use the substance/intoxicant.
Moreover, the penalty for a person convicted of DUI who was accompanied by a person under the age of 18 was enhanced. It now requires a mandatory minimum period of 30 days in jail and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.00. This law, which amended Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-403, states that the incarceration enhancement must be served in addition to, and at the conclusion of, any jail time and fine otherwise imposed for the underlying DUI offense. Likewise, the fine enhancement must be in addition to any fine imposed by law as a result of the Tennessee DUI conviction.
Laws such as these emphasize the importance of hiring a Tennessee lawyer who is educated about the newest laws and prepared to aggressively defend you. Too many people are wrongfully accused of driving under the influence and related charges. If you would like further information about these laws, or your case, you may contact the Oberman and Rice Law Firm at (865) 249-7200.