Before a Tennessee law enforcement official has authority to pull your vehicle over, he or she needs to first observe you violating a traffic law. As reported by USA Today, if caught speeding and spinning donuts in the street, as in one of the Volunteer State’s more notable cases, an officer may have ample cause to initiate a traffic stop that leads to a DUI arrest.
The law, however, requires a reasonable suspicion of intoxication to request a standardized field sobriety test. If you fail, an officer may ask you to provide a blood or breath sample to determine your impairment level.
What may serve as signs of intoxication?
In addition to slurred speech or confusion, signs of intoxication may include erratic driving or open containers of alcohol within the vehicle. An officer may use items found within the car as evidence to justify reasonable cause for a DUI test. Depending on the BAC level, you may face arrest and DUI charges.
What if I refuse to submit to a blood or breath test?
When applying for a driver’s license in Tennessee, you provide implied consent to submit to DUI testing when suspected of impairment while operating a motor vehicle. According to Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, a refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test may result in a suspended license.
How may I defend against a DUI conviction?
Under certain circumstances, an officer may not prove that a motorist’s BAC test results showed actual impairment. Factors that may cause a test to falsely show elevated alcohol levels include poorly calibrated testing equipment or recent use of mouthwash. If charged, you have a right to defend against a DUI conviction by contesting the test results or showing that the traffic stop was unlawful.