The Tennessee Highway Patrol never knows what it is in for when it pulls over a vehicle on a traffic stop. Where erratic driving is observed, the police will always check for signs of drunk driving. In one recent incident, a Highway Patrol Trooper claims that he attempted to make a traffic stop, but the suspect car containing a driver and one passenger crashed before he could accomplish the task.
The driver and passenger made things tougher for themselves by exiting the crashed vehicle and running from the approaching trooper, according to police reports. The trooper was in luck because the Henry County Sheriff’s Department was hosting a K-9 school nearby. With the help of several dogs and some sheriff’s deputies, the police say that they apprehended the two men near the scene. After the suspects were in custody, a sheriff’s deputy searched the car and allegedly found a handgun and eight hydrocodone tablets.
Authorities charged the driver with reckless driving, driving with a revoked driver’s license, firearms possession, DUI and a gun violation. They charged the passenger with simple possession of a controlled substance and a gun charge. It is currently unknown what the police did to establish the drunk driving charge.
Criminal defense counsel in Tennessee will investigate the drunk driving arrest to determine if the police conducted a proper stop, did field testing and followed all protocols. Any number of errors in police procedure can result in a dismissal of drunk driving charges. In addition, there must be reasonable suspicion to search the vehicle. In this case, that suspicion may have existed, considering the combination of erratic driving and the one-vehicle crash. The allegation that the occupants ran from the crashed vehicle would support a reasonable suspicion that may justify the search.
Source: parispi.net, “PARIS TN: Hounds help chase down two men running from trooper”, Adam Jenkins, March 13, 2018