Archive for July, 2009

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Tennessee

“TWRA wants boaters to recognize the effects and consequences of alcohol use while boating. In a boat on the water, consuming one beer is equivalent to drinking three beers on land because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun. Operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or higher is illegal in Tennessee, the same as operating a motor vehicle.”

Based upon this statement found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website, officers on Tennessee waterways may be more likely to arrest someone for boating under the influence (BUI) than someone who consumed the same amount of alcohol for the offense of driving a motor vehicle under the influence (DUI).

It is important for Tennessee residents and visitors alike to realize that to be subject to arrest for the offense of boating under the influence (BUI), one need only:

1. Be operating any vessel subject to registration (unlike the Tennessee DUI laws which require the vehicle to be motorized);

2. While on public waters of the state;

3. While

a. Under the influence of any intoxicant OR

b. With a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or greater.

Tennessee law also provides certain legal exceptions in boating under the influence (BUI) cases.  If you are arrested for BUI in Tennessee, you should promptly consult with an attorney about the facts of your case to preserve defenses and avoid the onerous penalties involved with a BUI conviction.

Because of the similarities in why persons are arrested for boating under the influence and for driving under the influence, persons charged with BUI in Tennessee should seek an attorney experienced in the intricacies of DUI defense. It is also just as important in BUI cases as it is in DUI cases that the defense investigation begins as soon as possible after the arrest in order to obtain the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

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4th of July Tennessee Sobriety Checkpoints (DUI Roadblocks)

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has announced plans to conduct sobriety (DUI) checkpoints over the holiday weekend from Thursday night to Sunday night.  The Tennessee Supreme Court has held that sobriety checkpoints, often known as DUI roadblocks, are permissible under the Tennessee Constitution.  In State v. Downey, the Court held that the prevention of drunk driving in Tennessee was enough of a compelling state interest to justify the intrusive nature of DUI checkpoints.

Although Tennessee’s high court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are permitted, law enforcement agencies are still required to follow very particular policies and procedures when establishing and conducting DUI roadblocks.  Should you have the misfortune of being stopped at a Tennessee DUI checkpoint and arrested or cited for DUI or any crime or traffic violation, you should immediately consult with a Tennessee attorney who is knowledgeable about the area of DUI defense law to determine if, in fact, the proper procedures were followed.

Please click here for a list of DUI roadblock locations across Tennessee.


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