You may be familiar with Tennessee’s implied consent law. This states that anyone who drives on public roads has given implied consent to submit to a test for blood alcohol content, when the police have probable cause to believe he or she is intoxicated.
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If you refuse to submit to the test, you face a suspension of your driver’s license in a separate proceeding from any DUI prosecution. So under this law you have a choice, but if you say no you’ll likely lose your license.
But did you know that there are some instances when you can be tested without your consent?
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You may have heard about “no refusal” weekends. Last year a law was passed in Tennessee that allowed the police to test drivers for blood alcohol content without their consent during certain holiday periods. Judges and medical personnel were on standby to issue warrants and to take blood, respectively. So even if a driver refused the test, a warrant would be obtained and the police could then get the necessary evidence. Expect more no refusal periods in the future during holidays like Fourth of July and Christmas.
Additionally, if a driver is involved in an accident that results in death or injury to another, and is subsequently charged with DUI, the police can perform a test without his or her consent. They can also perform a test if the charge is vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide. And when I say test, this is usually going to mean a blood draw. Futhermore, if the driver has previously been convicted of DUI, vehicular homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide, and has now been charged again with one of these offenses, the police can perform a mandatory test.
Finally, if there is a child in the car under 16 years of age during the commission of one of these offenses, the police can perform a mandatory test. You generally have the right to refuse a chemical test. But when that right is taken away, it potentially gives the police greater power to gather evidence against you.
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, contact Memphis DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall. Mr. Stegall can review your case and craft a defense based on its strengths and weaknesses. Contact him today at (901) 205-9894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.