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Driver’s Rights

It can be very intimidating to be pulled over by law enforcement, especially if the officer believes you violated Tennessee DUI laws, and asks you to submit to drunk driving tests or questioning.

While you are required to submit to a blood or breath test and can be penalized with a license suspension for refusal, there are certain protections in place for drivers. For example, police cannot pull you over unless they have probable cause to do so. Additionally, they cannot require you to submit to a test of your blood alcohol content unless they have reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated.

Drivers have other rights as well. For example, police cannot search your car without permission or without a valid reason for doing so. They also cannot force you to say anything to incriminate yourself.

All of these rights are guaranteed in the Constitution and, if violated, could result in the suppression of information collected by the police, which would keep that evidence out of court since it was obtained illegally. The best thing to do is to make sure that no illegal information is obtained in the first place and to ensure that no violation of your rights occurs.

Advice from a Nashville DUI Attorney

To help protect you, you should have some basic information ready about your rights in case a traffic stop goes beyond a request for your license and registration.  If you find yourself in this situation, you should hand the notice below to the officer. Remain silent until the officer has read the information.

Make sure that you have read the information, so that you will understand your legal rights. Let this information speak for you. Do not read it aloud to the officer.

(Cut along the line and keep in a safe place in your vehicle.)

NOTICE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: This document constitutes a LEGAL NOTICE to you and it should be retained for your records.

I hereby tender my driver's license, insurance card, and vehicle registration.
If you have stopped me for a minor traffic violation, please issue me a citation and allow me to leave immediately.

If you are not going to allow me to leave at this time, I assume that I am under arrest, and wish to speak to my attorney.

I shall not answer any questions nor voluntarily submit to any field sobriety exercises.

I do not voluntarily consent to any chemical test, be it blood, breath or urine.

I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCH of my vehicle, person or any other property without my written permission.

(Cut along the line and keep in a safe place in your vehicle.)

This information will not prevent an impaired driver from being arrested if sufficient probable cause of impairment exists. Do not be rude or belligerent to the officer.  Do not expect this information to prevent arrest or solve all problems. Be aware that some officers may arrest you because of this information.

NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: This information is intended to educate members of the Tennessee motoring public of their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting their rights. It is not intended to aid impaired drivers in evading punishment.

If you are arrested by law enforcement for drunk driving, contact a Nashville DUI lawyer as soon as possible for help in protecting your rights.

I help good people restore their lives

-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney.  With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in DUI cases.  If you are seeking an experienced DUI defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage.  If you need help with a pending DUI charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.

National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.

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