In Tennessee as in many states, people can be convicted of DUI not because they were actually driving, but because they were in physical control of a motor vehicle. This can potentially lead to some troubling cases.
There are certain rules law enforcement must follow when setting up sobriety checkpoints or DUI roadblocks, but the Tennessee highway patrol failed to follow them in a 2012 roadblock in Harris County. Therefore, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found the roadblock unconstitutional and vacated the DUI conviction of a Chattanooga man who was caught up in it.
Between June 25 and July 5, many Tennessee law enforcement agencies will be engaging in increased DUI enforcement surrounding Independence Day. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office provides funding for county sheriff's departments in concert with statewide and national messaging meant to reduce serious and fatal accidents involving drunk drivers.
In Tennessee, people who are convicted of DUI after a blood or breath test are required to pay the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, which performs those tests, a $250 fee. People who are not convicted are not required to pay the fee. The state's Court of Criminal Appeals recently found that to be unconstitutional because it sets up an apparent conflict of interest and calls the trustworthiness of the test results into question.
Being pulled over while you're on vacation can suck all the fun out of your trip -- especially if you are arrested for DUI. Nashville is a fun town, but Tennessee has little patience for drunk driving.
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled that field sobriety tests are not an appropriate measure for whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana. Although the ruling doesn't apply directly in Tennessee, it could be influential because it involved a review of the current science on accurately detecting marijuana intoxication.