Monday, December 28, 2015

On bond for fatal DUI, woman hits hydrant, gets another DUI charge

Here is a lesson on how not to behave while on bond! Imagine the audacity to act this way with a pending homicide.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/2015/12/28/bond-fatal-dui-woman-hits-hydrant-gets-another-dui-charge/77982078/

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.
635869143115420551-gafney-larson.jpg

Darryl Carter, 51, Is Man Killed By Hit And Run Driver On Christmas Night In East Ridge - Chattanoogan.com

Imagine a person who could strike and kill another and leave the scene on Christmas Night. Odds are great the person had something to hide! It is a shame that this victim was treated this way. May he rest in peace.





Darryl Carter, 51, Is Man Killed By Hit And Run Driver On Christmas Night In East Ridge - Chattanoogan.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Victim of hit and run in Chattanooga has passed away


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:


http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/dec/21/update-victim-mississippi-ave-hit-and-run-passes-away/341493/

Friday, November 20, 2015

Watch this!

Signal Mountain High School produced a very nice safe driving video featuring a Pirate. Who doesn't love to watch a pirate? Go to:



http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/nov/20/signal-mountain-school-wins-100000-dont-be-pirate-driving-safety-video/336761/

Virtual Bar

Responsibility.org has a virtual bar available intended to help people know what their BAC levels are after certain drinks and perhaps food are consumed. It includes a warning: This is not intended as a scientific tool for measuring Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), but is rather designed to help adults of legal drinking age understand the factors that affect their BAC.

You can go to the virtual bar at:

http://responsibility.org/start-a-conversation/drinking-responsibly/virtual-bar/


Monday, November 9, 2015

Congratulations Hamilton County Sheriff's Office



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

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 tekimball@tndagc.org. 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.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/industries/health-care/2015/09/27/overdose-deaths-epidemic-tennessee/32557463/

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:

http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/30046949/18-tn-counties-do-not-report-dui-data-to-state-ncic

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


http://www.wcyb.com/news/how-the-term-dui-is-changing-for-law-enforcement/34785646

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:

http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/courts/court-criminal-appeals/arguments/2014/07/23/state-tennessee-v-corrin-kathleen-reynolds

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:
http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/courts/court-criminal-appeals/arguments/2014/07/23/state-tennessee-v-william-whitlow-davis-jr

and State v Smith argued July 16, 2014 Hear the argument at:
 http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/courts/court-criminal-appeals/arguments/2014/07/16/state-tennessee-v-linzey-danielle-smith

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.




http://www.drugtreatment.com/expose/roadway-fatalities-drug-alcohol/

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.
http://www.myfoxal.com/story/29416019/man-who-pleaded-guilty-in-2011-christmas-eve-crash-sentenced#
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:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-report-finds-parents-in-the-dark-about-their-teens-driving-habits-300104044.html 


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
purpose.










Thursday, June 11, 2015

8 year sentence for 18th DUI!

Charles R Zemp had 17 previous DUI convictions, including five felony convictions when he was arrested in Knox County in May, 2014. He had also been convicted as a habitual traffic offender felon six times. When convicted he received a sentence of four years for his DUI and four years for his habitual motor vehicle offender crime. The two sentences were ordered to run consecutively for an 8 year sentence.
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

Congratulations Mark Mara and Darrell Julian

Lt. Mark Mara was recognized as a Drug Recognition Expert in the 31st Judicial District Circuit Court Monday at a hearing before Judge Stanley. The Prosecutor was Darrell Julian.

Monday, March 23, 2015

DUI Crashes 2015

  Between Jan 1 and March 23, 2015, there have been 400 crashes in which a driver was charged with DUI. These crashes have resulted in 530 total injuries and 2 fatalities. Source: Titan Crash Data





Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fees for Blood Tests Challenged by Chattanooga attorney

In an interesting twist, attorney Jerry Summers, has objected to the fee paid to the labs who conduct blood tests in DUI cases. Currently the lab receives $250 as a fee to offset costs, if the driver is convicted of the crime.

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

First Degree Murder and DUI

A McMinn County driver, allegedly impaired by drugs including methamphetamine, has been charged with first degree murder. The driver had two unrestrained child passengers, one of whom was killed. One of his charges was aggravated child neglect. Aggravated child neglect occurs when there is child neglect resulting in the death of a child under the age of eight. First degree (felony) murder occurs when aggravated child neglect results in death. No culpable mental state is required for a felony murder conviction.
The jury question in the case will probably be whether the failure to restrain a child is neglect.
Read about the case at:
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/watchful-eye/mcminn-county-couple-indicted-in-crash-that-killed-one-son-critically-injured-other_35634380

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Florida lawyer checkpoint advice

Everybody is asking me whether the Florida lawyer on You Tube has found a way for people to go through checkpoints without lowering a window.
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.

DUI of ICE Storm Monday

Three persons were arrested for DUI on Monday, February 16, the day of the Ice Storm of 2015.
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.

Nashville DUI of the Day "Not going to make it easy"





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.







Friday, February 13, 2015

DUI of the Day Feb 12: The Stumbler

ON THIS DATE OFFICER ____ INITIATED A TRAFFIC STOP AT ANDERSON RD/ BELL RD DUE THE FACT A HEADLIGHT WAS OUT.AND HE WAS SLOW TO STOP. AN ODOR OF ALCOHOL EXPELLED FROM HIS BREATH., DID NOT ADMIT TO DRINKING AND HE SAID HE WAS COMING FROM WORK. THE ARRESTING OFFICER ARRIVED ON THE SCENE OF THE TRAFFIC STOP. WHEN THE ARRESTING OFFICER ASKED THE DEFENDANT TO STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE. THE DEFENDANT STUMBLED OUT OF THE VEHICLE AND AN ODOR OF ALCOHOL WAS DETECTED ON HIS BREATH. THE ARRESTING OFFICER ASKED THE DEFENDANT TO PERFORM THE FIELD SOBRIETY TASKS AT ANOTHER LOCATION. THE DEFENDANT WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN HIS BALANCE ON THE WALK AND TURN STAGE OF THE TASK AND STARTED TOO SOON BEFORE BEING INSTRUCTED. THE DEFENDANT WAS UNABLE TO KEEP HIS FOOT UP DURING THE ON LEG STAND. THE DEFENDANT WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

Thursday, February 12, 2015

IF YOU ARE TEXTING.....

video

Texting while driving?

     According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.

DUI Feb 11 Commercial Vehicle and Domestic Assault

Often this time of year, DUI offenders get caught when they do other things and the police are called. Often there is a crash and law enforcement responds.
In today's DUI, the police were called to a store due to a domestic assault. The driver was hidden in the woods, but got to the store in a commercial vehicle. He had a .129 breath alcohol test. Anyone want to share the road with a semi driven by a driver with a .129? 

Officers responded to 150 Long Hollow Pike for a check the welfare of a female crying inside the store. Upon arrival officers spoke with the female and she stated that her and her boyfriend had gotten into a physical argument. I then attempted to locate the male subject and was unable to make contact. Officers then contacted the trucking company and advised them the store manager was going to have the semi towed off their parking lot. The semi was unsecured and the trucking company stated they were going to send someone to pick up their semi-truck. As I was waiting for them to arrive the male subject (driver of the semi) came out of the woods and began to approach my patrol car. I then exited my car and made contact with the male subject who was identified as ______ the suspect from the domestic assault. As I spoke with Mr. _____ I could smell an odor of alcohol coming from his breath as he spoke, I also noticed his eyes where blood shot and watery. I then asked Mr. ____ if he had been drinking and he stated yes. I then asked him how much he had drank and he stated that he and the victim had shared a 5th of bourbon. I then asked him to perform SFST’s and he agreed. The subject showed all 6 clues of impairment on the HGN, 6 of the 8 clues on the Walk & Turn, and 3 of the 4 clues on the One-Leg stand. I then read him the Implied Consent Law and asked him to administer a breath 

Bond and a lack of conditions on bond in the news

Channel 2 in Nashville has posted the story below. This is the guy who was charged with a Robertson County Vehicular Homicide, and returned to Tennessee from Kentucky after an arrest for DUI. The story notes he received a $20,000 bond with no special conditions and is out of jail.


http://wkrn.com/2015/02/11/repeat-dui-offender-danny-polak-released-from-jail-on-bond/

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nashville DUI of Feb 10th: A fourth offense felony


OFFICER ___ OBSERVED THE DEFENDANT TRAVELING E/B ON FAIRFIELD AVE FROM LAFAYETTE ST ABOVETHE POSTED SPEED LIMIT. OFFICER ___ THEN GOT DIRECTLY BEHIND THE DEFENDANT AND FOLLOWED HIM FOR APPROX 1/4 TO 1/2 MILE AND PACED HIM GOING 37 IN A 30 MPH ZONE. OFFICER MORRISON CONDUCTED A TRAFFIC STOP ON THE DEFENDANT. WHEN THE DEFENDANT VEHICLE PULLED TO THE RIGHT TO STOP, THE DEFENDANT DROVE HIS RIGHT TWO WHEELS UP ONTO THE CURB OF THE SIDEWALK, COMING TO A STOP PARTIALLY STILL ON THE CURB. THE DEFENDANT THEN OPENED HIS DOOR AND PROCEEDED TO WALK BACK TOWARDS OFFICER ___ VEHICLE. OFFICER ___ IMMEDIATELY GAVE ORDERS FOR HIM TO GET BACK INTO HIS VEHICLE. DEFENDANT WAS SLOW TO COMPLY WITH OFFICER ___COMMANDS AT FIRST, BUT EVENTUALLY DID COMPLY TO RETURN TO HIS VEHICLE. OFFICER ___ THEN APPROACHED THE DEFENDANT AND ASKED HIM FOR HIS DRIVER LICENSE. DEFENDANT HAD NO ID ON HIS PERSON. AS OFFICER ___ WAS SPEAKING TO THE DEFENDANT, OFFICER  ___ DETECTED AN ODOR OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMING FROM THE DEFENDANT PERSON AND BREATH. OFFICER ___ BELIEVING THAT THE DRIVER MIGHT BE IMPAIRED TO DRIVE, OFFICER ___ CALLED FOR A DUI CAR TO THE SCENE. I OFFICER ___ ARRIVED ON SCENE A SHORT TIME LATER AND SPOKE TO THE DEFENDANT. I ASKED HIM IF HE HAD BEEN DRINKING PRIOR TO BEING STOP AND THE DEFENDANT ADVISED OFFICER THAT HE HAD ONLY ONE BEER TO DRINK WHILE HE WAS WITH HIS FRIENDS. WHILE SPEAKING TO THE DEFENDANT, I OBSERVED THE DEFENDANT TO HAVE RED BLOODSHOT WATERY EYES, SLURRED SPEECH AND AN ODOR OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE ON HIS PERSON AND BREATH. DEFENDANT WAS THEN ASKED TO COMPLETE A SFST'S WHICH THE DEFENDANT COMPLIED. ON THE HGN, THE DEFENDANT HAD A DIFFICULT TIME FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT WERE GIVEN TO HIM TO PERFORM AND CONTINUED TO MOVE HIS HEAD. ON THE WALK AND TURN, DEFENDANT WAS GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO COMPLETE THE WALK AND TURN SEVERAL TIMES BUT THE DEFENDANT SEEMED CONFUSED AND WOULD NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO HIM. DEFENDANT AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO COMPLETE THE TASK AT HAND, JUST REFUSED TO COMPLETE THE TASK AS INSTRUCTED. ON THE ONE LEG STAND, THE DEFENDANT CONTINUED TO HAVE A DIFFICULTIES FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVISED THAT HE COULD NOT PERFORM THE TASK AT HAND DUE TO HAVING A PRIOR LEG INJURY AS A CHILD. AT THAT TIME THE DEFENDANT WAS THEN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY. OFFICER ____ READ THE DEFENDANT THE TN IMPLIED CONSENT LAW AND HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS TO HIM. DUE TO THE DEFENDANT 3 PRIOR DUI'S CONVICTION IN DAVIDSON COUNTY, DEFENDANT WAS ASKED TO HAVE HIS BLOOD DRAWN. DEFENDANT AGREED TO HAVE HIS BLOOD DRAWN AT GENERAL HOSPITAL. RESULTS ARE PENDING.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Nashville DUI of the Day: Marijuana example

I observed the defendant fail to stop for a stop sign that was clearly posted at 15th Av N and Bernard Av. I had a clear line of sight towards the stop sign and my vision was not obstructed by any vehicles. When I activated my emergency equipment, the defendant made sharp right turn and hit two cones that were next to the curb in addition to hitting the curb. After approaching the vehicle I immediately smell a strong odor consistent with alcohol from inside of the vehicle. I saw an unopened can of Budweiser on the passenger seat in reach of the driver. I asked the driver if he had consumed alcohol and he stated that he had consumed a 25 oz Budweiser can before he left for his destination. I asked the driver to consent to Standard Field Sobriety Tasks and he did so.
After the defendant exited his vehicle I continued to smell an odor consistent with alcohol about the defendant’s person. The defendant’s eyes were bloodshot and watery. I conducted the SFSTs with the defendant and he showed indicators of impairment during every task. During the HGN the defendant failed to keep his head still and had nystagmus at maximum deviation. During the walk in turn the defendant made an improper turn. During the one legged stand the defendant swayed while on his leg. The defendant was read the TN Implied Consent Law.

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

Nashville 2/7 DUI of the DAy

Big Mac to settle my alcohol? This happened around 3:00 a.m.

On 02/07/15 I responded to a report of a male passed out in a vehicle in the drive-thru of McDonald’s at 524 Murfreesboro Pike. Officer ___ arrived first along with Medics. The defendant was woken up by medics after a few minutes. Upon him waking up he spoke with medics and denied any medical conditions or reason for passing out in a vehicle. I arrived and spoke with the defendant. I observed that he had blood shot and watery eyes. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath. The defendant admitted to consuming one beer. I administered SFST’s and the defendant displayed validated indicators of impairment. He was taken into custody and read the implied consent form. A breath test was attempted but only one proper breath sample was obtained. The result of the one breath was .139. A blood sample was requested and the defendant agreed to the blood test.

Wrong Way on I-40

When asked how much he had to drink, he answered, "I don't know. I'm Irish".

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.

Nashville DUI of the Day 2/6

This is particularly disturbing. Two adults; a one year old child....the adult in the car?


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

3 teens killed in Kodak Crash

WATE is reporting that 3 teenagers were killed in a crash in Kodak. A 4th teen survived and indicated the kids were skipping school. Such a tragedy. Rest in peace.

Nashville DUI of the Day: Blame the Dog

This driver had a dog passenger. Maybe the dog turned his lights out?
I wonder why some officers only use capitol letters.



OFFICER  ---- OBSERVED THE DEFENDANT  DRIVING HIS VEHICLE WITH NO LIGHTS ON 2ND AVE NEAR THE ENTRANCE TO I40E. OFFICER  --- WAS OUT OF HIS VEHICLE AND ATTEMPTED TO GET MR. XXX TO PULL OVER. MR. XXX  IGNORED OFFICER  --- AND PROCEEDED ON I40E WITH NO LIGHTS. OFFICER  ---WAS ABLE TO FOLLOW MR. XXX AND INITIATE A TRAFFIC STOP. MR. XXX WAS SLOW TO STOP AND PULLED BEHIND THE FESSLER’S BUSINESS CENTER. OFFICER ---- OBSERVED INDICATORS OF IMPAIRMENT AND CALLED ME, OFFICER ----, TO INVESTIGATE FOR DUI. I SPOKE WITH MR. XXX AND NOTICED AN ODOR OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE FROM HIS EXPELLED BREATH, RED, WATERY EYES, AND SLURRED SPEECH. MR. XXX WAS UNSTEADY ON HIS FEET AND STATED HE HAD CONSUMED “A COUPLE” BEERS. I TOLD HIM I WANTED HIM TO CONDUCT SFSTS. HE SAID HE DID NOT KNOW IF HE WANTED TO DO THAT. I SAID THAT WE NEEDED TO SEE IF HE WAS OKAY TO BE DRIVING AND HE SAID HE DIDN’T WANT TO DO THAT BECAUSE HE WASN’T SURE. MR. XXX EVENTUALLY COOPERATED WITH THE HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS AND SHOWED INDICATORS OF IMPAIRMENT. HE WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN THE INSTRUCTIONAL POSITION AND ATTEMPTED TO START TOO SOON DURING THE WALK AND TURN. HE THEN SAID THAT HE WAS TOO COLD TO DO THE TASK. HE LOST HIS BALANCE STANDING ON TWO FEET DURING THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE ONE LEG STAND AND SAID THAT HE DID NOT WANT TO DO THAT EITHER. HE WAS PLACED UNDER ARREST FOR DUI AND READ THE MIRANDA WARNING AND IMPLIED CONSENT. HE SAID THAT HE UNDERSTOOD BOTH. HE HAD CONVICTIONS FOR DUI IN TN ON 7/27/1983 AND 2/21/1986. HE WAS ASKED TO CONSENT TO A BLOOD TEST AND REFUSED. I APPLIED FOR, AND WAS GRANTED, A SEARCH WARRANT FOR HIS BLOOD. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO GENERAL HOSPITAL FOR THE BLOOD TEST. HIS VEHICLE WAS TOWED FROM THE SCENE AND HIS DOG WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BY ANIMAL CONTROL.

Nashville Police Newsletter

 There is some very good news in the newsletter from NMPD. This includes articles about traffic fatalities and pedestrian and bycyle safety. Good work by officer Erika Bowden.

http://dui.tndagc.org/resources/1st%20Quarter%20Traffic%20Newsletter%20-%202015.pdf


Driver with pending vehicular homicide case charged with Ky DUI



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:


http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/dui-suspect-in-trouble-again/article_4d684e6c-b673-5a07-8853-7f9448a516cf.html

Woman stunned twice, escapes handcuffs and charged with attempted vehicular homicide

Every Law Enforcement Agency might want to pay attention to this story! It is one that has a lot of elements for training. Congratulations to the officers who managed to get her into custody without getting killed.







UPDATE: Woman stunned twice, escapes handcuffs and charged with - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Vehicular homicide charged in Memphis crash

A driver who is accused of running a red light and killing Donna Dixon, 55, in Memphis has been charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication and leaving the scene.
Read about it at:


http://wreg.com/2015/01/27/three-people-ejected-in-two-car-crash/

Clarksville man charged with vehicular homicide

Law enforcement has charged another Clarksville citizen with vehicular homicide by intoxication for the death of his passenger. The defendant had another DUI arrest last year.
Read about it at:


http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/crime/2015/02/03/driver-charged-vehicular-homicide-monday-clarksville-crash/22791611/

Clarksville business woman indicted for vehicular homicide








http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/crime/2015/02/05/clarksville-businesswoman-charged-vehicular-homicide/22949545/

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Nashville DUI of the Day: DUI BY Allowing

In Tennessee it is a crime to permit an impaired driver to drive your car. People are still surprised by that fact, even thought it has been the law for decades. Today's DUI of the Day gives an example:

On 2/3/15 in Davidson County, Tn, defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident as a passenger. Defendant is the registered owner of the vehicle. His girlfriend was driving at the time of the accident and was DUI as well. Upon police arrival to the accident the defendant told police this his girlfriend was driving and ran off, because she was DUI. Third party complainant stated the same to the call taker. Girlfriend returned to the scene and admitted to drinking and driving. Defendant was taken into custody for DUI by allowance. Defendant admitted to drinking tonight as well.



February Fatals

There have been 3 fatal crashes with 4 killed in February posted to Titan. All three crashes are alcohol related!
Two drinking drivers were killed. The other has been charged with vehicular homicide for the death of a passenger.
Hope this stops soon.

Hamilton County Advisory Council on Traffic Safety

Congratulations to Commissioner Marty Haynes for accepting the role as the new director of the ACTS Council. ACTS has done a great job at promoting traffic safety for a couple decades. In fact, when I was first hired as an ADA, my position was funded by a grant from the Hamilton County Commission.
Their latest newsletter is filled with important national data and local traffic safety news.

http://health.hamiltontn.org/docs/NEWS/ACTS%20Newsletter%20January%202015.pdf

(personal disclaimer...it was written by my brilliant daughter.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

PC for lane violation upheld

In a new case from the Court of Criminal Appeals, two Judges upheld a stop based on probable cause that a violation of 55-8-123(1) had occurred. One Judge dissented.
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:
http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/smithlinzeydanielleopn.pdf

Unrestrained children

I saw in the news that a 7 year old boy had died after a crash in Monroe County. This tragedy caused me to look at our statistics for 2014 to see how often we lost unrestrained children in crashes.
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.

Nashville DUI of the DAY for Feb 3: Maybe I should talk to the officer, who is pumping gas.


It will be a while before the chemical test is evaluated. How impaired do you have to be to do this?

THE DEFENDANT WAS THE DRIVER OF A VEHICLE THAT WAS OBSERVED PULLING INTO THE GAS STATION AT 4601 ALABAMA AVENUE, EXITING HIS VEHICLE, AND STUMBLING ACROSS THE PARKING LOT. THE DEFENDANT APPROACHED AN OFFICER WHO WAS AT THE SCENE FUELING HIS VEHICLE. AN ODOR OF ALCOHOL WAS DETECTED EMANATING FROM HIS PERSON, HIS EYES WERE BLOODSHOT AND WATERY AND HE WAS UNSTEADY ON HIS FEET. WHEN ASKED IF HE HAD BEEN DRINKING ALCOHOL, HE ADMITTED TO HAVING SEVERAL DRINKS. STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TASKS WERE ADMINISTERED AND THE DEFENDANT PERFORMED POORLY ON ALL PHASES. THE DEFENDANT ALSO ADMITTED TO SMOKING MARIJUANA EARLIER IN THE EVENING. A CHECK OF THE DEFENDANT'S HISTORY INDICATED HE HAD A DUI CONVICTION IN 2007. THE DEFENDANT WAS PLACED INTO CUSTODY. HE WAS READ HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS AND STATED HE UNDERSTOOD. HE WAS THEN READ THE MNPD IMPLIED CONSENT FORM 132C, STATED HE UNDERSTOOD, AND AGREED TO A BLOOD TEST. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO GENERAL HOSPITAL WHERE STAFF OBTAINED THE BLOOD SAMPLES. HE WAS THEN TRANSPORTED TO BOOKING.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nashville DUI of the DAY: the Vomiter


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

January Crashes Alcohol and Drugs

12 fatal crashes involved alcohol in January. In six the impaired driver was killed.
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.

January Crashes

The Dept of Safety Titan program indicates there were over 12,000 crashes on Tennessee roads in January.
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.

Death rates fall as vehicles improve

Death rates fall as vehicles improve



This study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety may make you feel better or worse about your choice of vehicle. Bigger is still better for safety.

Friday, January 30, 2015

8th Vehicular Homicide conviction of 2015

 January is always a busy month in the Courts, but it seems even busier this year. This represents the 8th Vehicular Homicide conviction this year.....already. A majority have been drivers impaired by pills and drugs.





Woman, 70, high on drugs convicted of vehicular homicide in Pine - WJHL.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2015