Tennessee, like many states, has an implied consent law that goes into operation if a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that a motorist is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. (Probable cause could include, but is not limited to, erratic driving, behaving in an inebriated manner, or seeing evidence of drinking after a routine traffic stop.) As long as the arrest is lawful, you are considered to have consented to being tested to find out your blood alcohol content (BAC). BAC levels are used to determine the amount of inebriation; a DUI charge can be made at 0.08.
BAC may be tested by testing your blood, urine, or breath. The law enforcement official is entitled to choose the test, and, by law, may require you to take several. The tests are to be administered as soon as possible from the period when you were stopped from driving.
Under implied consent law, there are stiff penalties for refusing a BAC test. If refusal is made, the driver’s license can be revoked for one year. If you refuse on subsequent occasions, a year is added for each offense. (That is, if you refuse to take a BAC test for a second stop, your license may be revoked for 2 years; for a third stop, it can be revoked for 3 years.)
If you were driving with a suspended license that resulted from involvement in an accident that seriously injured someone or caused a fatality, fines and a jail term may be imposed.
It is not advisable to refuse a test, since your refusal might be used against you in court. The laws on DUIs are complex and it is a good idea to speak to a car accident attorney in Nashville if you are in this situation. They will fight for your rights. Please contact us.