Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DUI Conviction Affirmed: State v Edmonds

The driver blew through a stop sign. An officer was watching the intersection and the violation was videotaped. After the driver was stopped, he turned out to have other problems. A jury convicted him. He appealed claiming the officer stopped him without reasonable suspicion. The decision of the Jury was upheld.
Read about the case at:

CCA Judge Smith arrested for DUI

Appellate Judge Jerry Smith has been arrested for DUI in Knoxville. Like all offenders he is entitled to a presumption of innocence. Judge Smith has been a tremendous public servant for many years, both in the Judiciary and as an Assistant Attorney General. However, no one is above the law. Whoever an offender may be, if guilty, the offender in our State recieves the same sentence, fine, license suspension and help as anyone else.
Read about the pending case in the Knoxville News Sentinel:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Following too closely

The Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed a drug conviction in which a Drug Task Force officer stopped a pickup for following a car too closely. The Memphis officer, Kevin Perry, did a very good job of describing the violation and referred to the Rules of the Road, which the Court cited. The Rules indicate that a driver must leave a 2 second gap between his vehicle and the one in front to permit the following vehicle to brake to a stop safely.
Read about the case, which also involved a drug dog issue at:

Cracking down on repeat DUI offenders-Texas Style

The story in the San Antonio paper tells of a recently arrested 12th offender. He was given a bond of $150,000 with conditions including a SCRAM unit, a GPS, an ignition interlock and an in home breath test device. He is also required to take pills 3 times a day that cause naseau if alcohol is consumed. He was ordered into treatment. The suspect got convicted for the first time when he was 25 years old. He is now 61. Alcohol has consumed his life. The authorities in San Antonio have apparently had enough.
Read about it at:
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Synthetic Drugs Delivered. Woman Arrested

This woman accepted the delivery of synthetic drugs from FedEx. She is now in jail. Fed Ex had alerted the police, who came along to catch her in Bristol. They also searched her house. The total recovered was over 1,000 packages of this poison. Read about it in the Johnson City Press at:

DUI Arrests Increase

The TBI Report concerning Crime in Tennessee shows that a total of 26,340 people were arrested for DUI in 2011 which is an increase from the 24,154 arrests made in 2010!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DUI Child Endangerment Law in the News

WKRN News 2 in Nashville did a nice story about the DUI Child Endangerment bill that has passed both houses of the General Assembly and is headed to the Governor. The new law corrects the error pointed out in the Obermann book DUI the Crime and Consequences on page 453 that indicated that the sentence for child endangerment did not have to be served consecutively, if the offender was a multiple offender.
The story is now reaching other Tennessee news stations. Flint Clouse, the State Director of MADD, is interviewed. Read about it:

Phlebotomy law

Thanks to the work of the Tennessee General Assembly we now have a law that allows the phlebotomist who draws our blood when we have a physical to draw the blood of the impaired driver. Prior to the passage of Public Chapter 666, only specially trained phlebotomists on a national registry were permitted to draw blood in DUI cases.
The Tennessee Medical Association saw the conflict in the law, as this was the only area of the law that required a phlebotomist to be nationally certified in order to withdraw a blood sample. The Association drafted the bill that has now passed. Sponsors were Representative Debra Maggert and Senator Brian Kelsey. The law also protects the phlebotomist from civil and criminal liabiltity, if they act at the written request of a law enforcement officer. Read the new law, which took effect April 4th, 2012 at:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Road Ragers charged with Vehicular Homicide

Two men were allegedly fighting with their trucks. One lost control and his passenger and wife was killed. Both are now facing vehicular homicide charges for her death.
Read about this tragic temper tantrum in the Tennessean at:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Cops; More Stops

Nashville, TN – In an effort to save lives, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) is again working across the state to crack down on traffic safety violations including impaired driving, seat belt use, distracted driving, and speeding, during its “More Cops. More Stops.” campaign this April.
Tennessee is one of two states teaming with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on this important national demonstration project to test the effectiveness of a new combined high visibility enforcement campaign.

Read more at:

Volunteer attorney of the year honored

Shelby County Assistant Public Defender William E Robilio has been honored by the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program as "Volunteer of the Year". Mr. Rubilio has been involved for 10 years with the Memphis Bar Association "Lawyers Helping Lawyers" program. He has volunteered hundreds of hours helping lawyers and judges with impairment issues.
Congratulations Mr. Rubilio and thanks for your wondeful efforts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

National Work Zone Safety Week

This is National Work Zone Safety Week. Please renew your commitment to be careful and slow down in work zones. We want every worker to be able to get home to their families safely and get back to fixing our roads the next day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


The definition of parties who can draw blood in DUI cases has been changed. See the new and improved description in Public Chaper 666 (I'm not kidding). This section also provides civil immunity from those who perform tests after a written request from law enforcement. Read it at:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rest in Peace

Joe Crumley has passed away. Joe is seen in this picture teaching students at a DUI Trial Advocacy class in Chattanooga in 2007. Joe had a lot to share. He was the elected District Attorney in the 1st District in East Tennessee for eight years. He also served as a prosecutor before and after that term.

Joe prosecuted every kind of criminal case.

Joe was also one of the first elected District Attorneys to place a prosecutor in a position to exclusively prosecute DUI cases. He understood the need for specialization in traffic safety prosecutions and was committed to traffic safety.

Joe will be missed. He was a public servant first and foremost.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tennessee Prescription Abuse highlighted

The Associated Press has published an article on the soaring sales of painkillers in the U.S.. Our staggering State stats are featured. Read about how the rest of the country is catching up with our prescription abuse at: Painkiller sales soar around US, fuel addiction | Fox News

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tennessean accused in Illinois

Thomas Harris, 43, of Clarksville has been accused of homicide, aggravated DUI and 14 other counts in a horrible crash in southern Illinois. Harris was driving on a license revoked for a prior DUI. One person died and many others were injured. He apparently hit a van and spun into a group of motorcycles. A passenger on one of the bikes, Arlene Hackworth, 56, died.
Read more about it at:

Mandatory Blood Test Upheld

A recent case from the Court of Criminal Appeals involved a vehicular homicide in which a non-consensual blood test was conducted. The mandatory test was approved following the precedents of Schmember v California and Tennessee v Jordan.
Outstanding work in this case was performed by ADA Bob Gray in McNairy County and Lt. Tony Miller of the Selmer Police Department. Thanks also to paramedic Jeffrey Strickland for performing the blood draw in this case.
All the effort in the world won't bring back Steven Lawson, who was killed by this impaired driver. He and all the victims of impaired driving should recieve this kind of effort.

Read all about it at: