The Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm, P.A. Articles New Law Requires Breathalyzer Device Installation for 1st DUI Conviction

New Law Requires Breathalyzer Device Installation for 1st DUI Conviction

By Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm  Jun. 19, 2013 4:10p

A new Tennessee law regarding DUI convictions will go into effect starting July 1st. The law requires that the installation of an ignition interlock device be mandatory after a conviction for a first driving under the influence offense. The device is basically a portable breathalyzer installed in the convicted drunk driver's vehicle which can prevent the car from starting. The device must be used every time the driver wants to start his or her car and the vehicle cannot be started without first blowing into the device and having an under-the-limit reading (a BAC of under 0.08 percent). The law is not retroactive and those who have been convicted of a drunk driving offense prior to July 1st will not be required to have the device. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you fight the charges if you have been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Nearly 20 other states have passed similar laws regarding the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. It has sometimes been required as part of the penalties for a repeat offender in Tennessee but now even a first misdemeanor DUI charge could mean the installation of this breathalyzer. The driver will have to pay all required fees and costs for installation and use of the device which will be for a period of six months or more. This is on top of any other penalties such as fines, imprisonment, driver's license suspension, etc.

Fighting DUI Charges

It is important to know your rights when it comes to a DUI arrest. Officers must have probable cause for making a traffic stop. You are not required to perform a field sobriety test—physical coordination tests which are highly subjective in nature. There are many reasons why someone may perform poorly on these tests such as stress or preexisting balance or coordination difficulties. You do not need to volunteer information about any alcohol consumption and you should not talk to the officer about anything which could be used against you. Contact our skilled DUI defense team at the Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm right away if you have been charged for any DUI offense. We know this area of the law extremely well and we have successfully represented clients in the Memphis area in a variety of DUI and other criminal cases. From the initial hearing to trial (if needed), we always hold our client's best interests at the forefront of all we do. You deserve to have a defender in your corner doing everything possible to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

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