Monday, December 28, 2015
Here is the suspect, Larson Dean Gafney, 42, a Clarksville resident.
Her passenger was killed in a July wreck in Cheatham County. That case is pending in January.
Darryl Carter, 51, Is Man Killed By Hit And Run Driver On Christmas Night In East Ridge - Chattanoogan.com
Darryl Carter, 51, Is Man Killed By Hit And Run Driver On Christmas Night In East Ridge - Chattanoogan.com
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
I continue to believe that a person who leaves the scene after striking another human being is the lowest form of human. How can a person drive away without at least calling for help? Who treats people this way.
Our laws in this area do little to stop this behavior. It is sad that we need laws to try to make people act like humans.
Read about this lady and the missing driver who struck her at:
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
You can go to the virtual bar at:
Monday, November 9, 2015
HCSO Credits TN Grant With Higher DUI Arrest Rate
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says a RIDD Grant from the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office is responsible for increasing the rate of DUI-related arrests over the past year.
In a release, authorities say the RIID Grant, (Remove Impaired-Intoxicated Drivers), gives the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) the opportunity to use more federal funds to support traffic enforcement operations for the sole purpose of removing impaired and/or intoxicated drivers from roads.
During the period of October 2014 through September 2015, the HCSO goal was a minimum of a 7% increase from last year's arrests made for impaired or intoxicated drivers.
The HCSO says it accomplished this goal. Deputies experienced an increase in DUI arrests during this grant period. A total of thirty arrests were made during this 2014-2015 grant period verses a total of twenty-three DUI arrests made during the 2013-2014 grant period.
During the 2014-2015 grant period Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigated a total of three deadly crashes in the unincorporated areas, with one of them being alcohol related.
The HCSO says deputies are removing more impaired and intoxicated drivers from the roads and it is clear lives are being saved.
The HCSO says the RIID Grant has allowed deputies and traffic personnel to also see improvements due to the higher visibility of more law enforcement personnel and increased enforcement measures.
The HCSO says the RIID Grant has allowed the HCSO to have additional manpower on the streets and the citizens in Hamilton County have been able to see an increased presence of law enforcement personnel.
HCSO says HCSO School Resource Officers have also contributed to the success of the RIID Grant. For example, during this year's RIDD Grant period, 243 presentations were made by SROs on topics such as drunk driving, driving impaired, drugs, and the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. 6,989 students participated in these presentations.
In April, a simulated crash was conducted at Sale Creek Middle / High School in cooperation of the Hamilton County Health Department to further illustrate to students the dangers of driving while impaired or intoxicated.
WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - HCSO Credits TN Grant with Higher DUI Arrest Rate
Friday, October 9, 2015
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Read about this program here:
Two-a-day breath tests keep drinkers out of jail
Monday, September 28, 2015
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
Friday, September 11, 2015
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
Monday, August 10, 2015
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
Monday, July 6, 2015
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
Read more at:
Friday, June 26, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
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
Friday, June 12, 2015
It's good to work with the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference. Read the article and you will understand why.
District Attorneys Focus On Emerging Criminal Justice Issues - Chattanoogan.com
Thursday, June 11, 2015
His public defender argued the sentences were too great. He argued Zemp was "a very careful drunk driver".
At his appeal the Defendant argued that his record of criminal activity was not actually extensive because it consisted almost entirely of motor vehicle offenses.
Here is the problem we face with recidivism in Tennessee. Defendants (and defense attorneys) seem to think their dangerous behavior is not criminal and that they should not be punished.
We will watch this case for further developments. Let's hope the Department of Corrections holds onto this guy for a while.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I wonder who will end up paying for these tests, if he is successful. My guess is that the lab would then have to be funded by tax dollars paid by all of us who do not get convicted of DUI. Read about it at:
Higher court to rule on constitutionality of DUI fee law - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports
Monday, March 9, 2015
The jury question in the case will probably be whether the failure to restrain a child is neglect.
Read about the case at:
Friday, February 20, 2015
The Changing Face of DUI: Prescription for Tragedy - WJHL.com
Thursday, February 19, 2015
If the lawyer was in Tennessee, he would be doing a great disservice to the public.
Sobriety Checkpoints in Tennessee have been found to be constitutional. The driver is stopped and temporarily detained. In Tennessee drivers are not usually asked for a license, registration or proof of insurance in a sobriety checkpoint. They are checked for sobriety.
An officer will order the driver to lower the window, so he can smell alcohol or marijuana, better see the driver's eyes and determine if the driver needs to be checked out for suspicion of DUI.
If the driver refuses, the officer will begin writing a ticket for a violation of:
T. C. A. § 55-8-104
§ 55-8-104. Compliance with lawful orders or directions of police officers
(a) No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
As with all tickets, if the driver refuses to sign the ticket, the driver has to be arrested and brought before a judge or magistrate for a bond. This can take a while!
This means the person who refuses to lower the window could end up spending hours instead of seconds at a sobriety checkpoint. Of course, if the person cooperates, the officer can turn the ticket into a warning and let the person go on his/her way.
The point of all this is, the officers are only there to try to deter impaired driving to keep us all safe. The 30 seconds in takes to pass through a checkpoint is a small sacrifice as compared to a lost life, if they don't catch the impaired drivers.
What do you care about? Support the life saving efforts of your local police. The life they save may be your own.
Keep in mind that the Governor had declared a state of emergency and most offices and businesses were closed. The three arrested, presumed innocent, were John Harmon, DUI 4th offense, Steven Singleton and Randell Beck. I don't know what these three were thinking, but fortunately they lived through the day and did not kill anyone.
Here is one of the affadavits:
On 02/15/2015 at approximately 2241 hours, VUPD observed a black four door vehicle traveling west bound on 21st Avenue South. That same vehicle ran the red signal light at 21st Avenue South and Medical Center drive. I initiated a traffic stop at 21st Avenue South and Dixie Place. I made contact with the driver and advised him of the reason for the stop. The driver was identified as ____. ____ had watery bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming off his breath. ____ admitted to drinking two beers and one mixed drink at Broadway Brewhouse earlier in the evening. I initiated Standardized Field Sobriety Tasks and ____ showed the following indicators: Four indicators on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Five indicators on the Walk and Turn, Three indicators on the One-Leg-Stand. _____ was taken into custody for Suspicion of Driving under the Influence. _____ was transported to the Criminal Justice Center for booking. _____ also submitted to a Breath Alcohol Test. The final result was .13.
February 18th was a cold and icy day. State offices were open. Schools were closed. Apparently liquor was available.
Defendant _____ WAS SEEN DRIVING HER VEHICLE IN THE AREA OF 1357 11TH AVE. SOUTH, AND AFTER STOPPING AND EXITING HER VEHICLE, APPROACHED POLICE (MNPD) THAT WERE INVESTIGATING A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAULT CASE. _____HAD A STRONG SMELL OF AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE ON HER BREATH AND COMING FROM HER PERSON. ____’s EYES WERE BLOOD-SHOT AND WATERY AND HER PUPILS WERE DILATED. ____ TOLD MNPD THAT SHE DRANK ONE SHOT OF ALCOHOL. ____AGREED TO PERFORM THREE STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TASKS AND SHOWED MULTIPLE INDICATORS OF INTOXICATION ON ALL THREE TASK. AFTER BEING READ THE TENNESSEE IMPLIED CONSENT LAW AND STATING THAT SHE UNDERSTOOD THE LAW AS IT WAS READ TO HER, ____ AGREED TO TAKE A BLOOD TEST BUT REFUSED TO SIGN THE 132C FORM. AFTER ARRIVING AT GENERAL HOSPITAL, ____ TOLD THE NURSE THAT WAS PREPARING TO DRAW HER BLOOD, THAT SHE'D CHANGED HER MIND ABOUT HAVING HER BLOOD DRAWN. _____ WAS CONVICTED OF D.U.I., ONCE IN 2008, AND ONCE IN 2013, AND MNPD EXPLAINED TO HER THAT A BLOOD DRAW IS WHAT THE LAW STATED WE MUST REQUEST OF HER, BASED ON HER PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS FOR D.U.I.S'. ____ THEN STATED, "THIS IS MY 3RD D.U.I., I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE IT EASY FOR YA'LL." SGT. ____ ALSO SPOKE TO ___ AND EXPLAINED THE LAW TO HER, BUT SHE STILL REFUSED TO HAVE HER BLOOD DRAWN. MNPD THEN SOUGHT AND OBTAINED A BLOOD SEARCH WARRANT ON ____ IN ORDER TO DRAW HER BLOOD. A STATE CHECK OF ____’s DRIVER'S LICENSE SHOWS THAT HER DRIVER'S LICENSE IS REVOKED BECAUSE OF HER 2013 D.U.I. HER RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT SHE'S BEEN CONVICTED OF DRIVING ON A REVOKED DRIVER'S LICENSE ON AT LEAST TWO OTHER INCIDENTS. ____ WAS THEN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Several Charged With DUI Over Weekend - The Greeneville Sun: Local News
Friday, February 13, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The defendant initially agreed to a breath test. During an inventory of the vehicle I discovered marijuana seeds, cigarello packages, and an open container of alcohol underneath the center shifting column. After being mirandized the defendant waived his rights and agreed to speak with me. The defendant admitted to previously smoking marijuana within the past 48 hours. I then asked the defendant if he would agree to consent to a blood test and he refused.
Monday, February 9, 2015
This would be pretty funny, if he wasn't driving the wrong way on the Interstate! Good job by the Nashville police to stop this clown, before he killed or died.
POLICE WERE DISPATCHED TO THE INTERSTATE (I 40) IN RESPONSE TO A VEHICLE TRAVELLING WEST BOUND IN THE EAST BOUND LANE. OFFICER _____ OBSERVED THE DEFENDANT DRIVING WEST BOUND ON I 40 E. OFFICER _____ STOPPED THE DEFENDANT, AND WHEN HE MADE CONTACT, THE DEFENDANT SHOWED OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INTOXICATION. HE HAD SLURRED SPEECH, BLOODSHOT WATERY EYES, AND HAD A STRONG ODOR OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE PROTRUDING FROM HIS MOUTH. THE SUSPECT ADMITTED TO DRINKING THAT NIGHT. WHEN ASKED HOW MUCH, HE STATED "I DON'T KNOW, I'M IRISH." I WAS DISPATCHED TO THE SCENE TO ADMINISTER FIELD SOBRIETY TASKS, WHICH THE DEFENDANT AGREED TO DO. HE PERFORMED VERY POORLY ON THE TASKS. SPECIFICALLY, HE HAD TROUBLE WITH FOLLOWING DIRECTION AND MAINTAINING HIS BALANCE. HE WAS THEN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND WAS READ HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS AND THE IMPLIED CONSENT FORM, WHICH HE STATED HE UNDERSTOOD. HE THEN REFUSED ONE REQUEST FOR A BREATH TEST. A BOTTLE OF LIQUOR WAS FOUND IN HIS TRUCK NEXT TO THE DRIVER SEAT AND A SMALL BOTTLE OF BRANDY WAS FOUND ON HIS PERSON. THE BOTTLE OF BRANDY ONLY HAD A LITTLE ALCOHOL LEFT INSIDE.
Suspect was observed by Officer ___ involved in a traffic crash on Eastland Ave. He pulled behind her vehicle in the Sav a Lot parking lot. I pulled up as she was pulling over. I immediately noticed that her speech was slurred, pupils were dilated, and she was unsteady on her feet. After Miranda, she admitted that she had taken Oxymorphone, Neurontin, Valium, and Xanex. She showed signs of impairment on the walk and turn and the one legged stand. She was placed under arrest for DUI. She agreed to a blood test. Results are pending.
She has a co defendant, xxx, he was arrested for DUI Owner. Also, there was a 1 year old child inside the vehicle.
Friday, February 6, 2015
A Franklin, Ky resident was arrested for DUI on the way to his class reunion. Kentucky police learned he was out on bond for vehicular homicide in Robertson County. ADA Jason White is quoted talking about how we as prosecutors cannot reveal anything in a sealed indictment. He did a good job.
Read more at:
UPDATE: Woman stunned twice, escapes handcuffs and charged with - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports
Read about it at:
Read about it at:
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Two drinking drivers were killed. The other has been charged with vehicular homicide for the death of a passenger.
Hope this stops soon.
Their latest newsletter is filled with important national data and local traffic safety news.
(personal disclaimer...it was written by my brilliant daughter.)
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The stop occurred after the trooper saw the vehicle cross a lane line in a curve. The Defense argued there was a lack of reasonable suspicion for a DUI.
The dissenting Judge was persuaded that the DUI line of cases controlled the situation, even though the officer recorded and testified that the stop was based on the violation.
Read the opinion by Judge Woodall at:
I found 12 crash reports with unrestrained children. Four drivers were charged with vehicular homicide. One was charged with aggravated child neglect.
Three drivers in those crashes died, including two mothers and one father of unrestrained children.
Two were in vehicles driven by a 16 year old.
Two were in vehicles operated by an impaired driver.
I don't understand how any driver would not require a child to be properly restrained in a vehicle. Children are precious cargo. They deserve the best safety equipment available in the vehicle. They deserve a sober driver.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Welcome to a new feature on the blog. Each day it is practicable, I will post a new DUI arrest affidavit from Nashville with all the names removed. I hope this allows you to see what our officers deal with every day and night in our Capitol city. There are a number of DUI arrests each day. There is no rhyme or reason why I am picking a particular case. Here is my pick from February 2nd arrests: Vomit as Evidence:
Officer 1 was following officer 2 to a call when Mr. X swerved into the lane officer 2 was in, nearly striking officer 2’s car. Officer 2 noticed Mr. X appeared to be vomiting. Officer 2 continued to the call while officer 1 activated his emergency equipment, signaling Mr. X to stop. Mr. X was slow to respond, but eventually stopped his vehicle. When officer 1 spoke with Mr. X, he confirmed that Mr. X was vomiting. There was an obvious odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. X and his vomit. I, DUI officer, responded to investigate Mr. X for DUI. Mr. X could not stand up without assistance and told me several times he was “drunk.” Mr. X was too intoxicated to perform SFST. I took custody of Mr. X and read the implied consent law to him in Spanish. He stated he did not understand why he could not call his girlfriend. However, when asked to submit to a blood test, he agreed. A computer check showed Mr. X had an expired “History Only” driver’s license.
Monday, February 2, 2015
4 victims were passengers riding with an impaired driver.
2 victims were killed in 2 vehicle crashes with an impaired driver.
There were 8 cases in which drugs were a factor. In most drugs and alcohol were combined. However, in one case a driver with drugs ran into and killed another driver.
In most of the January fatalities, toxicology tests are pending.
These included 47 crashes that resulted in fatalities; 295 crashes that resulted in 678 incapacitating injuries and 1376 crashes that resulted in 2107 injuries.
The map shows the location of the fatal crashes in January.
Friday, January 30, 2015
Woman, 70, high on drugs convicted of vehicular homicide in Pine - WJHL.com
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015