The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security have issued a media release dated December 30, 2015 that details plans for an impaired driving enforcement campaign for the upcoming New Year’s holiday period. According to the release, in 2014, nine people died in 9 crashes on Tennessee roadways during the New Year’s holiday period. In an effort to increase the safety and decrease the fatalities of motorists on the roads over the 2015-16 New Year’s holiday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol plans to use aggressive “No Refusal” enforcement.
This “No Refusal” enforcement refers to the use of chemical tests (blood, breath, or urine) that determine the concentration of intoxicants in a person’s system. These tests will be required by troopers after a Tennessee DUI arrest to pinpoint the arrestee’s degree of intoxication. Generally, Tennessee law enforcement officers will offer an arrestee the ability to refuse to submit to these chemical tests. However, if an arrestee does refuse to submit to a test, Tennessee law provides that the officer can obtain a search warrant to forcefully obtain the requisite sample.
During “No Refusal” enforcement periods, like this holiday weekend, the Tennessee Highway Patrol typically has a Tennessee judge (or judges) on call. If an arrestee refuses to submit to a chemical test, and if the judge determines that the requisite legal grounds exist, a search warrant can be obtained that allows the officer to obtain a chemical test (most often a blood sample), even over the objection or refusal of the motorist placed under arrest.
This increased enforcement is set to begin at 12:01 am on Thursday, December 31, 2015 and to end at 11:59 pm on Monday, January 4, 2016. State Troopers will also perform saturation traffic patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and bar/tavern checks during this holiday period.
More information about the Tennessee Implied Consent Law can be found by visiting our website or in the prior blog post, “Tennessee DUI No Refusal Weekends.” You may also contact our attorneys, Steve, Sara, and AZ by calling 865-249-7200. Even during this busy holiday season, the attorneys at Oberman & Rice are available to speak with you 24/7.