In Tennessee, law enforcement officers may pull over a driver suspected of driving under the influence (DUI). In some situations, a DUI stop can lead to an arrest and criminal charges against the driver. If you were arrested for a DUI, examining the circumstances of the DUI stop may be important to defend against the charges successfully. A Nashville DUI lawyer can determine whether there were legal grounds for the stop and object to evidence that was obtained unlawfully. Attorney Bernie McEvoy has represented many people in drunk and drugged driving cases and can assist with charges arising from a DUI stop in Davidson and Williamson Counties.Overview of Tennessee DUI Stops
Law enforcement agencies have multiple strategies to enforce DUI laws and prevent injuries and fatalities caused by drunk driving. DUI stops are one such tool. In Tennessee, patrolling for intoxicated drivers and conducting DUI stops have resulted in a substantial number of DUI arrests. A person may be charged with a Tennessee DUI offense for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or above, or with a certain amount of drugs in their system. In addition, the police may arrest a driver under the influence of any amount of alcohol and/or drugs if it has impaired their ability to safely operate their car. It is important to note, however, that the police must have proper legal grounds for both the DUI stop and arrest.
After pulling over a driver for a suspected DUI, the police officer typically will request license, registration, and insurance information. The officer may ask a few questions about the driver’s plans, or whether they have been drinking. During the DUI stop, the officer will be observing the driver for signs of drug or alcohol impairment. The officer may ask the driver to step out of the vehicle for a field sobriety test or a breath test. Although a driver may decline to take the field sobriety tests without penalty, refusing a breath or chemical test may have legal consequences. Further, if there is probable cause that the driver has committed a DUI, the officer may place the driver under arrest.Grounds for a DUI Stop
To initiate a DUI stop, a police officer must have reason to suspect that the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or has violated or is violating the law in some way. For example, the officer may observe the driver having difficulty staying in one lane, drifting off the roadway or over the median, traveling at an inconsistent speed or abruptly braking, failing to comply with traffic signals, or indicating other signs of intoxicated driving. The cumulative evidence and observations of the officer may provide cause for a DUI stop.
If there are no grounds to justify pulling over a driver, the DUI stop may be a violation of the driver’s constitutional rights. In such cases, the court may rule that any evidence arising from the illegal DUI stop may not be against the defendant. This can lead to a favorable plea deal or even dismissal of the charges. A lawyer can look into the circumstances of a DUI stop and answer any questions you may have about potential defenses to the charges.Consult a Defense Attorney in Nashville
If you are facing charges from a DUI stop, you can retain a defense lawyer to represent you. With over twenty-five years of legal experience, Attorney Bernie McEvoy can protect the rights of defendants charged with DUI and drugged driving offenses, domestic violence, and many other felony and misdemeanor crimes. He assists people throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, including Franklin and Nashville. Contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy today and request a free consultation regarding your case. We are available by phone at (615) 255-9595 during daytime hours and (615) 804-8779 on nights and weekends, and online.