Thursday, October 1, 2015

Elder Driving

Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2013 “Older Population” (DOT HS 812 199):  In 2013, there were 5,671 people 65 and older killed and an estimated 222,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. These older people made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 10 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes during the year. Compared to 2012, fatalities among older people increased by 1 percent and the number of older people injured increased by 4 percent.

Distracted DRiving

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2014 (DOT HS 812 197):  The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014; this was a statistically significant increase. Driver handheld cell phone use decreased from 4.6 percent in 2013 to 4.3 percent in 2014 (Figure 1); however, this was not a statistically significant decrease. These results are from the  National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), which provides the only nationwide probability-based observed data on driver electronic device use in the United States. The NOPUS is conducted annually by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Two-a-day breath tests keep drinkers out of jail

This is an interesting program that needs to be seriously considered in Tennessee. Recently I attended a Summit concerning this program with members of the 5th Judicial District, who are examining the possibilities of being a pilot project for us. We'll keep looking and considering options. If you have an opinion, e-mail me directly at Do not post a comment or reply. I don't look at them as 95% are ads for services and other spam.

Read about this program here:

Two-a-day breath tests keep drinkers out of jail

Monday, September 28, 2015

Opioid Epidemic

The Tennessean published a thorough article about opioid overdose deaths in the State this morning. Read it at the link below.
One item these task forces and study groups continue to miss is the rising number of vehicle crashes due to opioid impairment. The numbers of deaths they list would be even higher if the resulting vehicle deaths were included in these reports.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

18 Counties fail to report DUI Convictions

A news report on WMC News in Memphis indicates that 18 Tennessee counties fail to report DUI convictions to the TBI or NCIC databases. This is some disturbing news. Some Court clerks might want to examine their practices in a hurry. Failure to report can have and in this Mississippi case did have horrible consequences. Watch the story at:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Oral Argument in State v Davis

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in the case of the Knoxville attorney, who is trying to get his traffic stop suppressed. The argument pits the statute found at TCA 55-8-123 (maintain a lane) against the Binette and other cases. Below is the report from one Knoxville tv station.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knoxville attorney took the stand Wednesday to argue for himself at
a Tennessee Supreme Court case that could change the way prosecutors handle DUI cases
in the future.
William Davis Jr. admitted he had been drinking and driving, but he said he shouldn’t have
been caught. Even though police had issued a BOLO or “be on the lookout” for his car and
an officer testified Davis made several traffic violations, he said there wasn’t enough
probable cause for the initial traffic stop that turned into a DUI.
“Are we to micromanage the officer is not doing a playback, an instant review playback of
the video?” asked Justice Holly Kirby. “He’s perceiving it in the moment the same way that
you perceive when you are videotaping your child’s soccer game and you think the referee
made a bad call.”
Davis said he should not have been stopped because the BOLO for his car was not checked
out before he was pulled over, but Justice Cornelia Clark pointed out that shouldn’t matter.
“If the statute says you must drive on the right side of the line or you may not cross to the
left side, then even one violation of that is an offense. Surely that rises to the level of
probable cause,” she said.
The state attorney general’s office said even without the traffic violations the BOLO for
Davis was enough of a reason for the stop, and not only was the officer able to verify the
description and location of Davis’s vehicle from the BOLO, he said he went further.
“He further verified driving consistent with being under the influence. He watched the
driver drive over the center line a couple of times before he even initiated his camera. And
then on camera caught another crossing and a touching on the line,” said Assistant
Attorney General Leslie Price. “So certainly at that point the officer had reasonable
suspicion that the defendant was driving under the influence.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How the term 'DUI' is changing for law enforcement

Hit the link to see a nice article about how drugs are endangering the public by Olivia Bailey at in East Tennessee. There are good comments from Kingsport Police P.I.O. Tom Patton and attorney Lynn Dougherty.