Law proposed that would affect charges related to drunk driving

Blood tests, as well as breath tests, are often administered to drivers when police suspect them of driving under the influence. While someone stopped for alleged drunk driving can refuse to take one of these tests, he or she may currently face other charges if they do. The Tennessee legislature is considering a change in the law that would eliminate the criminal charges for not agreeing to undergo the blood or breath tests.

Currently, with the state's implied consent law, motorists agree to take the tests -- if they are suspected of alcohol consumption -- just by getting behind the wheel and driving. While drivers can refuse to submit to the blood and breath tests, misdemeanor charges may follow in certain instances. Anyone driving on a revoked license who will not take the test is likely to be charged. In addition, if a driver does not adequately perform the test, charges can occur.

Tennessee lawmakers are considering a ruling made by the Supreme Court in 2016 that deemed the criminal charges for refusing the tests unconstitutional. Advocates of the bill claim that it will enable police officers to be more effective in their abilities. The bill has been deferred by the House Criminal Justice Committee and will be voted on soon by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Laws pertaining to  drunk driving may change over time, like the one related to the constitutionality of blood alcohol testing. If someone has been charged with this offense, it would be beneficial to seek the advice of an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer who is up to date with any changes to the laws will work with clients to develop a rigorous defense against the charges.

Source: wbir.com, "Bill would remove criminal charge for refusing blood test for DUI", Grant Robinson, April 2, 2018

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