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.....


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.