As residents in Tennessee prepare for the upcoming holiday weekend, they can expect to hear about increased enforcement against drunk driving. However, the reality is that drivers in the state should always be aware as the risk of being arrested and charged with suspected impaired driving always exists. Along with the penalties that can come from a DUI conviction, people should also be concerned about the state's implied consent law.
Implied consent essentially states that by virtue of being given the right to drive in Tennessee, drivers agree to submit to substance testing if requested by officers. Any person who declines a requested test can lose a driver's license and even experience other criminal consequences. This is a practice common in many other states. Even those that do not impose criminal penalties take away a person's right to drive for some time after a test refusal.
That, however, may change after a recent ruling that came from the U.S. Supreme Court. Multiple cases came to the high court alleging that the ability to obtain samples from people without consent or without warrants was not constitutional. The Supreme Court agreed and has now banned the practice of blood testing unless a warrant is first obtained. Breath tests can still be obtained without warrants.
Drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving might want to talk to an attorney to understand how this new ruling may impact them. It can also be a good opportunity to learn about how to defend against DUI charges.
Source: News Channel 9, "Supreme Court ruling on DUI blood test refusal affects current Tennessee law," June 23, 2016