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 WYCB.com in East Tennessee. There are good comments from Kingsport Police P.I.O. Tom Patton and attorney Lynn Dougherty.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Waiting and watching for Supreme Court Decisions

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in State v Corrine Kathleen Reynolds September 30, 2015 in Lebanon. The Appellate oral arguments occurred last July. The 25 minute appellate court oral argument can be heard at:


In this case the officer involved followed the law in effect at the time and informed the defendant that the law required a mandatory blood draw in her situation. The legal requirement for a blood draw later changed. The exclusionary rule is usually reserved for situations in which the officer did not follow the law. The Court punishes the State by excluding evidence illegally obtained.

The Court granted cert and requested that both parties address whether the Court should grant a good faith exception to the warrant requirement per United States v Leon. Tennessee is unusual in that no good faith exception has ever been recognized here.

The Court also granted cert in two cases that address the difference between the statutes that requires drivers to maintain their lane of travel and the Binette case. In those reasonable suspicion and probable cause were found to stop vehicles for violations of the statutes. The defense argued that the driving was not lousy enough to satisfy Binette.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the two cases also on September 30th.

The cases are: State v Davis argued July 23, 2014. Hear the argument at:

and State v Smith argued July 16, 2014 Hear the argument at:

When the Court issues written opinions, they will have a major impact on how prosecutors review, prepare and argue cases.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

4 of the worst 5 counties in USA for DUI by depressant drugs are in Tennessee

A new report has analyzed drugged driving in America. It shows that we have four of the worst five counties in the country for fatal crashes involving depressants. Read the entire report at the link.


Monday, July 6, 2015

32 years and 11 months and 29 days for killer of four

 Davis Brooks has been sentenced by Judge Beasley in Memphis. On Christmas Eve 2011, he killed four women when he slammed into the back of their car and pushed it into a truck. Brooks had a .26 blood alcohol level.
The women killed by this impaired driver were:
 Tarla Fisher, 42 
Marjorie Tucker, 42
Crystal Hill, 26 and
Shirley Watkins, 44 all from Memphis

Severely injured were James Reece, 25 and Luke McElravey, 24 of Millington.

The primary prosecutor in this case was Michael McCusker. Deputy Duvall of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department was the investigating officer.

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Report Finds Parents in the Dark about their Teens' Driving Habits

A report from The Allstate Foundation finds many parents are largely unaware that their teens are speeding, driving while distracted, and even driving under the influence. Making matters worse, teens may be picking up these same behaviors from their parents.

Read more at:


Friday, June 26, 2015

New law Webinar available

A number of new laws are effective July 1, 2015 effecting traffic safety. A recording of our webinar concerning those laws is now available on our website at http://dui.tndagc.org

On the right side of the website under the Current News section, click on the link that says "New Laws of 2015". The webinar is about 30 minutes long. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crossville woman faces eleventh DUI charge after crash

It shocks me that a Knoxville attorney would look at this case and make a completely incorrect statement about how we count prior offenses in Tennessee. Our law establishes a 10 year look back period to see if there is a prior arrest and conviction in the last ten years. If the answer to that is yes, we look back 10 more, but never more than 20.

Crossville woman faces eleventh DUI charge after crash

This does not come through in this article. Of course, the attorney may have had only part of her description included in the article. I hope that is what happened.

Here is the law at 55-10-405:

(a) For the sole purpose of enhancing the punishment for a violation a person who is convicted of a violation of § 55-10-401
shall not be considered a repeat or multiple offender and subject to
the penalties prescribed in this part if ten (10) or more years have
elapsed between the date of the present violation and the date of any
immediately preceding violation of § 55-10-401 that resulted in a conviction for such offense. If, however, the date of a person's violation of § 55-10-401
is within ten (10) years of the date of the present violation, then the
person shall be considered a multiple offender and is subject to the
penalties imposed upon multiple offenders by this part. If a person is
considered a multiple offender under this part, then every violation of § 55-10-401
that resulted in a conviction for such offense occurring within ten
(10) years of the date of the immediately preceding violation shall be
considered in determining the number of prior offenses. However, a
violation occurring more than twenty (20) years from the date of the
instant violation shall never be considered a prior offense for that