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What is DUI?2018-06-04T09:29:17+00:00

What is DUI?

An individual commits the offense of DUI in Tennessee by being in physical control of a motor vehicle; why under the influence of an intoxicant (alcohol or drugs); on a public roadway, highway, parking lot, etc…

An individual is in physical control while driving, sitting in the driver’s seat with keys in the ignition, sitting in the driver’s seat with keys in your pocket, walking across a parking lot with keys in your pocket. The vehicle does not have to be running for a person to be in physical control of the vehicle.

It is a common misconception that a person can only be charged with DUI if the individual is driving the vehicle. Close proximity to a vehicle while under the influence with keys to operate the vehicle is enough to be charged with DUI.

The law in Tennessee says a person is per se (presumed) intoxicated if the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08.

If a person does not give blood or breath to determine the BAC, the officer is able to testify about his observations of the individual charged with DUI. These observations  include: contact from the stop, slurred speech, blood shot eyes, odor of alcohol, field sobriety tests, appearance, and other indicators of impairment.

Impairment is not limited to alcohol. A person can be intoxicated by legal or illegal drugs. You may be prescribed medication by a doctor and later charged with a DUI if the officer believes you are under the influence.

A person maybe charged with DUI while on public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, or apartment house complex, or any other premises that is generally frequented by the public at large.

A lot of people think sleeping it off will avoid a DUI, but unfortunately the police will arrest you even if you are sitting in a parking lot. If you have any doubt as to whether you are impaired, it is best to call a cab, Uber, or friend to come and pick you up.

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