Anyone who has been arrested in Tennessee for driving under the influence might feel a twinge of schadenfreude when they read of the recent DUI arrest of a Chattanooga police lieutenant, but it’s important to remember that everyone has the same presumption of innocence and right to defend themselves.
According to a news report the veteran police officer was arrested by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and charged with DUI. He has since been placed on administrative leave.
A Channel 9 news report says the officer was driving on East Martin Luther King Boulevard and as he turned his vehicle on to Highway 27 to go north, he was pulled over by a THP officer. The trooper stated in an arrest affidavit that the lieutenant had been driving at 67 mph in a 45-mph zone. He was also reportedly swerving across the street’s center line.
The THP officer stated in the affidavit that the off-duty lieutenant had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol. A roadside sobriety test was performed before the arrest, according to the news report.
The lieutenant has been with Chattanooga PD for nearly 20 years, the department said.
As a veteran cop, he undoubtedly knows that a first-time DUI offender faces from 48 hours to a year in jail, as well as driver’s license revocation for up to a year and a hefty fine. He would also be required to install an ignition interlock device at his expense if he’s convicted.
Everyone in this situation should exercise their right to remain silent and then discuss evidence, charges and legal options with a Chattanooga criminal defense attorney who knows how to protect careers and rights.