The moment you hear the sirens and see the lights in your rear-view mirror, it can be a frightening time. The experience of a potential arrest is enough that even thinking about it can give most people feelings of fear and anxiety. It’s an understandable situation.
However, it’s important for individuals to know what their rights are when it comes to DUI stops and DUI checkpoints in Tennessee. Recognizing these rights can help defend from the potential consequences should you face a conviction for driving under the influence.
Here are a few things you should know about DUI stops, your rights when you are pulled over, and what can be done if you have been charged by the local authorities.
Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal In the State of Tennessee?
In many states, counties, and cities throughout the country, the local authorities take the opportunity to set up what are called DUI checkpoints. These are stops at high-traffic areas where many drivers pass, and the authorities check to see if there are potential signs of intoxication.
These sobriety checkpoints are legal in Tennessee and it allows authorities to choose temporary and random locations to test the sobriety of drivers based on suspicious behavior. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims that these checkpoints may prevent 1 out of every 10 fatal DUI accidents.
However, they’re not completely accurate and for many individuals, it’s important to recognize their rights if they are wrongfully arrested following the sobriety checkpoint.
The Argument of Probably Cause for a DUI Stop
One question we receive quite often is, “doesn’t the police officer have to have a probable cause to stop me?” This is a great question as lack of probable cause can prove to be an effective defense in a number of different situations.
For instance, if a car is pulled over at random—not at a sobriety checkpoint—there must be probably cause for the actual stop. This means the driver was exhibiting signs of intoxication or otherwise driving recklessly. Without a valid reason for the stop, the arrest may be unconstitutional.
However, in the event of a sobriety checkpoint, there does not need to be a valid probable cause for the stop. These checkpoints make it so authorities can check drivers for intoxication without having any specific reason behind their stop.
Why It’s Important to Have a DUI Lawyer On Your Side
Any time you are arrested, it’s important to have a strong defense. A DUI conviction can result in individuals facing jail time, revocation of their driver’s license, alcohol counseling, fines, and potential impact on housing, educational, and career opportunities.
Having a lawyer on your side can help you identify any of the inconsistencies in the prosecutor or arresting officer’s case against you. This is especially true when you need a strong defense such as determining if there was a problem with the breathalyzer or if there were issues contributing to a failed field sobriety test.
After a DUI stop in Tennessee, you can trust that turning to Meade Law Group gives you a chance to defend your rights and freedom moving forward. Depending on the situation involved in the stop, you may have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests, the blood or breathalyzer test, and to answer questions the policy may have.
Understand your rights with our Johnson City DUI attorneys on your side. We have the experience to help when you have been wrongfully arrested and charged with a crime that could be life-altering. We’re ready to defend your rights from start to finish.
Call our firm today at (423) 464-7779 for the strong legal defense you need. Your rights and freedom are our top priorities.