Barnette Law Office, LLC

June 11, 2014

Barnette Law Offices–Nashville DUI Attorneys


At , we have been defending those accused of for years.  uses several basic legal and scientific examinations in defending against DUI charges.  The actions of the police are governed by numerous policies, procedure and laws. Mistakes, misunderstandings, or errors from the initial contact to the final booking may be helpful in .

An improper stop is one of the most common mistakes police officers make in a .  For example, tips or anonymous calls – in most – does not give an officer a proper basis to pull you over. The officer must observe an actual violation of the law before the stop is legal.

An officer does not have ample cause to pull you over if his stop is predicated upon a mistake of law.  An example is weaving in the lane or “slapping the mustard an mayonase” as some officers refer to weaving.- This observation alone in not a proper basis to stop a driver.  For many reasons a driver may drift or weave within the lane.

Furthermore, an officers may not stop you on a “hunch”.  However, rarely will an officer admit this, but devoid of any other evidence the act speaks for itself. This is why it is imperative to examine the officers video in a timely fashion.

There are also many reasons why the actual arrest may be unlawful.  Field Sobriety Tests are standardized roadside agility tests that are subjectively “scored” by an officer to make an arrest. These subjectively scored tests do have specific rules and guidelines for observations as prescribed by NHSTA. If they are not followed then any and all conclusions by the officer would be improper.

Moreover, rain, snow, and extreme cold or heat can effect observations of driving and performance on FST’s. Failure to consider these factor can affect credibility of the officer.  There are numerous medical and physical conditions that can affect a person’s roadside behavior and performance. These issues should be considered and factored into an officers arrest decision.  Often they are not and in reality, these tests are designed to fail.  If you are asked to perform Field Sobriety Tests, we at advise you to respectfully advise the officer that you do not wish to have them administered.  You are very likely going to be arrested anyway and while flawed, field sobriety tests may be used against you.

Once the officer has completed his reason for the initial stop; he should terminate the contact and allow you to leave unless there are clearly articulated reasons to extend the detention.  Such reasons could be the allegation that the officer “smelled” alcohol eminating from the accused or that the accused had red, watery eyes.  , advises anyone never to speak to an officer as to whether they’ve been drinking.  The common statement of “I’ve had one or two” often leads to a conviction.

In some cases that we see, the officers video simple doesn’t support arrest narrative.  Most law enforcement agencies in middle Tennessee use videos.  When the videos are available, they may not support the arrest or may show facts different from what is in the police report.

Blood draws – whether whole blood or plasma – require specific reasons under . If these are not followed, the test may be inadmissible under the exclusionary rule.  In addition, there are statutory requirements that enumerate specific procedures that must be followed in performing a blood test (and breath tests as is the case in ).  Blood samples are typical not tested by an employee of the TBI. Multiple samples are loaded in a machine; it runs overnight and prints out multiple reports in the morning. This is open to many human and machine mistakes.

The same applies to breath tests to which are used to determine an accused’s blood alcohol concentration.  The operator of the machine must be certified and many officers are not.  The intoxillizer machine must be certified and periodically calibrated at least every 90 days.  Sometimes this does not occur and alarmingly, sometime the mouth piece for test subjects are not changed.

There are specific procedures that must be followed before a proper test can be administered.  Although does not require a reading of your Miranda rights in order to make a DUI arrest, if the officer continues to question you after your arrest, many statements may be excludable if you are not read or do not understand your Miranda rights.

If a witness was responsible for your initial stop or other key element, they will also have to appear at key sections of the case.  If the officer gives different stories, in his report from later testimony, it brings his credibility into question (although a will couch inconsistent statements as a mistake rather than trying to make the officer out to be a liar).

The have expert witnesses who often can analyze reports, breath tests, blood tests (retrograde extrapolation) and video tapes to help determine if the arrest was proper and the facts are correctly presented.  It is a medical fact that during the early stage of drinking, you will show an artificial “peak” while absorbing the alcohol. This means that during the early stages of absorbing alcohol-before it is fully absorbed into your system, you will present an inaccurately high blood alcohol concentration.

If you are charged with a DUI in middle Tennessee, please contact the skilled at as soon as possible.a

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