Evidence in a DUI Case
Most DUI arrests in Tennessee start with a routine traffic stop that leads to field sobriety tests and an eventual arrest. To the DUI accused, there is nothing routine about the stop and the whole experience can be very intimidating. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the Tennessee DUI nightmare. While the DUI accused is facing this very intimidating roadside dance, the police officer is collecting DUI evidence that will later be used against you in court. Now let us consider the typical types of Tennessee DUI evidence that will be used against you.
The first thing you should be aware of is that the police officer cannot pull you over unless he has probable cause to stop your vehicle. In plain English, this means you must do something that warrants further investigation by the police. Usually, this is a minor traffic offense like speeding or failure to maintain your lane of travel. If you are following and observing the traffic laws, the police officer does not have legal justification or probable cause to stop your car. It is not justifiable for the police to stop you for driving late at night or just being in a certain area.
Even if the officer has reason to stop your vehicle, a new probable cause element must be met before he can arrest you for DUI. Usually after smelling the odor of alcohol, the officer will order you out of the car to start the field sobriety tasks. Usually these tests consist of simple coordination exercises that are designed to help the officer determine if there is sufficient evidence to determine if the driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The typical tests are walking an invisible line and balancing on one foot. Other evidence may include such classic signs such as swaying, slurred speech, unsteady on the feet, and red-shot watery eyes. Your field sobriety tasks are very subjective. So therefore, he will want further evidence to bolster his DUI case and request a blood or breath test.
In most cases, a breathalyzer is requested in order to determine a driver's blood alcohol content or BAC. However in some jurisdictions, a blood test is the preferred means to measure the driver's BAC. If a chemical test indicates you have an illegal BAC, you will be arrested and charge under Tennessee DUI laws. The legal BAC for adults over 21 is .08, .04 for commercial drivers, and .02 for individuals under 21.
Despite all the evidence that may be used against the accused in a DUI case, many people arrested for a DUI are able to mount successful defenses by challenging both the probable cause for the traffic stop and the actual evidence that lead to the DUI arrest. A successful challenge may result in a dismissal of all charges or a reduction in charges. As a result, it is important to have legal representation on your side.
To learn more about your Tennessee DUI defense options, contact attorney Lee Martin at 615-345-1988 today. Don't forget to check my client testimonials and DUI case results to see how I have helped other Tennessee drivers like you.