New laws in Tennessee have changed the way the state will prosecute drunk driving. The state has decided to do away with implied consent for blood tests that are obtained without warrant. Most other states have implied consent laws that enable law enforcement to administer a breath test to drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence.
The idea behind implied consent laws is that once a driver applies for their license, they are giving implied consent to be tested if a police officer suspects they have been of driving under the influence. Under implied consent laws, refusing an alcohol test means your license can be immediately revoked without the need for a trial or conviction. You can also be given additional punishments for refusing DUI testing.
Tennessee used to collect blood from DUI drivers under these implied consent laws. However, the Supreme Court recently ruled to restrict implied consent. The court deemed that blood testing a person for a suspected DUI was too intrusive to be covered by the rational for implied consent. Similar to when police search your house, police are required to have a warrant if they want you to submit to a blood test. Chemical breath testing is not considered as intrusive, and thus a warrant is not required if you are suspected of DUI.
Under the new Tennessee DUI laws, criminal penalties for refusing a breath test have been eliminated. Before the new laws were put into place, the state was adding jail time and expensive fines to the punishment for people who refused a test. Revocation of your license is the only punishment that is now allowed. The agreement between drivers and the state is now clear: Agree to a breath test if suspected of a DUI, or lose your license. If a blood test is required, the state has to have a warrant to conduct it. It is important to note that DUI patrols have clever ways of obtaining warrants, so don’t assume it will suddenly be easier to get out of a DUI charge.
Have you been charged with a DUI after refusing a blood test? We can help you fight your charges and get the justice you deserve. The lawyers at Joshua T. Crain, Attorneys at Law know that no test is free from error and we can help you prove the inconsistencies and inaccuracies with your DUI blood testing. A DUI charge can ruin your reputation and future, which is why you want an experienced team of attorneys by your side. Let us fight for you today.
Contact our team of Murfreesboro DUI lawyers, or call (615) 200-9409 to schedule your case evaluation.