I am often asked about the “No Refusal Weekends” you may have heard about recently. Allow me to answer two of the many questions I have received.
First, the Tennessee Implied Consent Law (refusing a blood, breath, or urine test pursuant to T.C.A. § 55-10-406) is not legally suspended for that particular weekend. It is never suspended.
Second, you have not lost the right in all circumstances to refuse to provide a sample for chemical analysis even if the Tennessee officer believes you are driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant such as alcohol or another drug.
These time periods for increased DUI detection efforts, like the 2012 Knox County, TN July 4th weekend, simply mean that special arrangements have been made to assist officers to apply to a Judge or Magistrate for a search warrant to obtain evidence (such as a sample of blood, breath or urine from a driver suspected of DUI). If the search warrant is granted, the officer may force the driver to provide a sample of bodily fluid for testing of alcohol or other drugs. Be aware, however, that there are some circumstances under the law when you do not have the right to refuse the extraction of a blood sample or the administration of a breath test, or both.
If you have been forced to provide a sample of blood or breath as a result of your DUI arrest, all is not lost. Your constitutional rights apply in these circumstances as well. If the chemical sample is obtained in violation of your constitutional rights, the results of your chemical test may not be admissible in court.
For further information on “No Refusal Weekends,” the Implied Consent Law or forced blood draws, you may wish to check out our sister blog, www.duinewsblog.org, you may review additional information on our website, www.tndui.com or you may call Steve Oberman at the Oberman and Rice Law Firm at 865-249-7200.