Thursday, June 30, 2011

American Optometric Association endorses HGN

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has completed a study of the use of horizontal gaze nystagmus testing by law enforcement and has again endorsed the use of this scientifically valid and reliable tool to detect impaired driving. Read the AOA document at:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hit and run driver bound over in Jackson

A preliminary hearing in Madison County resulted in a driver being bound over to the grand jury for reckless vehicular homicide. In a story in the Jackson Sun details reported by the paper include that a 12 year old girl was riding her horse, while being led by a family friend. A swerving driver moving at a fast clip hit and killed the child, injured the friend and horrified the person following on a second horse. The driver left the scene and was arrested 24 hours later. He was gone so long that no blood alcohol test could be conducted.
Read about it at:

Synthetic Cannaboids

The new law banning the possesion or production of synthetic cannaboids goes into effect July 1, 2011. Read the law at:

New law concerning license revocation

Beginning July 1, a DUI 3rd offender will lose his/her privlege to drive for 6 years. A DUI 4th offender will lose his/her license to drive for 8 years. This will apply to all convictions after July 1, 2011. It does not matter when the crime was committed. If the driver is found guilty after July 1, this law will apply.
The new law can be read at:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

TBI Crime Study released

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has compared crime rates over the last decade in a study recently released. DUI arrests during that period have declined 13%. Drug arrests, however have increased 45%. Crimes against persons increasesd 8%. Read some conclusions about the report at:

The full report is available at:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

DUI Decision Stop based on Move Over law

In State v Brooks, filed today in the Court of Criminal Appeals, a guilty plea had been entered. The defendant reserved the suppression question for appeal. The stop was based on a violation of the mover over law. The defendant drove a semi, did not move over and forced the officer to jump on the hood of his car to save himself. The truckdriver turned out to be a DUI driver.
Read the decision at:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Article about seminar

Last week 50 prosecutors from Kentucky and Tennessee met in the mountains to study crash reconstruction and vehicular homicide preparation. A reporter for the Montain Press came out to visit and wroth this story:

Why don't the priors count?

An allegedly impaired driver in Cookeville ran off the road and slammed into a SUV parked in a driveway. The owner was sleeping in the house. His SUV was totalled and his house shook from the impact. He wonders why the prior DUI convictions of the impaired driver don't count. They are more than 10 years old. Welcome to our world Larry. Most prosecutors wonder the same thing.

The victim in this case is one of the best auto mechanics I've ever known and an awfully good guy. I'm just glad no one was between the driver and the SUV. Read the story in the Herald Citizen at:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Impaired driver hits police car

In Cookeville an impaired driver slammed into a patrol car at 1:30 in the morning. Officer Jamey McCurry sitting in the parked car was not injured. The car did not do so well.
Read about it in the Cookeville Herald Citizen at:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Drunken sex leads to DUI

At a gas station in Murfreesboro a 28 year old was in his car engaging in a sexual activity. An officer arrived and concluded that he was impaired and in physical control (of his car). He was arrested for DUI. There is a lesson here!
Read about it in the Daily News Journal at:

Vehicular Homicide class 2011

Prosecutors and crash reconstruction law enforcement officers from Kentucky and Tennessee are participating in a three day crash reconstruction class this week in Sevier County.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Crash Aftermath

As we began the Vehicular Homicide conference we had a car slam into a target car. This is the aftermath of a 29 mph crash, shown in the video in the previous post.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Retirement Steve Hawkins

On the way to Sevier County today, I stopped in Knoxville for an oil change and saw the face of ADA Steve Hawkins looking at me from the end table. The Knoxville News Sentinel published an excellent article talking about our friend and public servant as he prepares for retirement at the end of the month. We'll miss you Steve. Read about it at:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New decision upholds traffic stop

In Polk County a driver pulled out of the Runway Bar and within half a mile crossed the fog line twice and the yellow line into the oncoming lane of traffic. Deputy Glen Stiles pulled him over and the CCA agreed that Deputy Stiles had reasonable suspicion to do so.
Read the new case released on June 8th at:

Congratuations Assistant District Attorney Brooklynn Martin.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Deputy Keith Bellar has passed away

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and co-workers of Dickson County deputy Keith Bellar. He has passed away from the wounds inflicted by a man involved in a violent attack on his wife. The killer had forced her car off the road. Deputy Bellar thought he was responding to assist a citizen in need. As he drove toward the crash scene, the killer opened fire and the deputy was shot in the head.

Deputy Bellar leaves behind a loving wife and six month old son.
Follow the story at the Tennessean at:

Recent Vehicular Assault Decision

The Court of Crimnal Appeals has issued a decision in State v Myers, a Hamilton County case. Myers was convicted of Vehicular Assault, Reckless Aggravated Assault and DUI. The Court affirmed the convictions, but remanded for an order to merge all the convictions into the Vehicular Assault conviction. Read the decision at:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wisconsin Impaired Driver crashes with 11 children

A woman in Wisconsin crashed her SUV. She had 11 children as passenger. 7 of the children were her own. What was she thinking?
Read and watch the news about it at at this link:

DUI Conviction stops entry into Canada

DUI convictions are highly frowned upon by our neighbors to the north. A person with a DUI conviction may not enter Canada without a lot of effort and money.
Read an article about it at:

We have posted on our website the forms neccessary to visit Canada after a DUI conviction.

The best idea for those who want to travel across the border is pretty simple: Don't Drink and Drive!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Irish efforts to improve traffic safety

News from the land of St. Patrick and Celts:
Ireland has passed a law mandating breath/blood tests at crash scenes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New laws

Interesting Public Chapters that have been signed by the Governor are available on our website at in the RESOURCES SECTION. Go to:

and open the Legislation Passed 2011 folder.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Blood Testing case

To all the naysayers who doubt the constitutionality of the new forced blood law, read this and weep! This sets out some of the case law concerning blood testing that was used to support arguments in favor of the legislation. A few points:

1) there is no right to refusal;
2) the failure to read the implied consent warning only effects the implied consent case, not the admission of the BAC in the DUI.
3) "If probable cause exists to believe that (a) the motorist has consumed an intoxicant; and (b) testing of the motorist’s blood will reveal evidence of his or her intoxication, law enforcement need not obtain the voluntary consent of the motorist before collecting his or her blood sample. Humphreys, 70 S.W.3d at 761 (citing Schmerber, 384 U.S. at 768-72)."
4) The purpose of the implied consent law was to avoid violent confrontations with motorist. It in no way was established to benefit or give a right to an impaired driver.
5)“[T]o carve out a rule of exclusion where the [refusal] provisions . . . have not been followed” is not the purpose of the Implied Consent statute. Hancock, 1999 WL 298219, *7."