Posts Tagged Breath Alcohol Test

New Tool to Aid Law Enforcement in D.U.I. Enforcement

Many road warriors across the country know that if you drink too much alcohol and operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway you may be arrested for Driving Under the Influence (D.U.I.). A lot of drivers are not aware that a D.U.I. charge may also arise out of the use of prescription medication and/or the use of marijuana (even if legal in your state to consume). The issue for law enforcement, however, is how to test for medications and marijuana traces from the person suspected of committing a D.U.I. based on the consumption of drugs alone and not alcohol (while not obtaining a blood sample). Law enforcement agencies have long implemented the use of a portable breath test device to detect the presence of alcohol on a suspect, but now- a new tool has been adopted by law enforcement agencies to combat drivers who are suspected to be impaired by drugs.

According to a recent U.S.A. Today article, the new tool for law enforcement agencies is a portable “lab” that can test the oral fluids of the alleged D.U.I. offender through a simple swab of the suspect’s mouth for saliva. The device is called the Dräger DrugTest® 5000. The device is supposed to determine if the driver has any traces (in their saliva) of drugs including, but not limited to: amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, and cannabinoids. As of the publishing of the U.S.A. Today article, law enforcement agencies in several cities have already implemented the device in the field.

Presumably, the use and science behind this new tool for law enforcement will be challenged in a court of law (much like the alcohol portable breath test device has been for years). Please remember if you or someone you know has been charged with a D.U.I. alleging alcohol or drug impairment, make sure to call and speak with one of our attorneys at the Oberman and Rice Law Firm. The Obermand and Rice Law Firm can be reached 24/7 at (865) 249-7200 or by email at, or

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Your Right to Refuse a Breath Test or Blood Test Has Changed!

It is fairly common knowledge that Tennessee citizens have long had the statutory right to refuse an officer’s request to submit to a chemical test of the officer’s choice if the officer had “reasonable grounds” (probable cause) to believe the driver had committed the offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI or DWI) in most DUI cases.  As of July 1, 2009, however, this law has changed. Tennessee Public Chapter 324 has amended Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-10-406 to eliminate the right of the driver to refuse a breath test, blood test, or urine test if the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the driver has committed the crime of DUI, vehicular assault or vehicular homicide and was involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of another.


If the officer has probable cause to believe the driver has committed one of aforementioned violations AND an accident with injury or death occurs, the officer is required to test the driver to determine the alcohol or drug content in the driver’s blood.  The driver does not have the right to refuse the requested test.

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