With new laws recently passed in the state of Tennessee, police will have have more power to stop drivers for suspected intoxication. According to the law passed by the state Supreme Court, police can pull drivers over if they cross roadway markings. This means that more drivers could be pulled over and arrested for drunk driving, even if they only crossed or touched the road markers briefly.
Law enforcement must have due cause to pull a driver over. As these new laws will make it easier than ever to pull a driver over, it is important for drivers to take steps to protect their rights. Even if a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, evidence against that person could be thrown out of court if obtained illegally.
It is not uncommon for a driver to touch the lines while driving, especially on a curvy road or during bad weather. These new measures will give Tennessee police officers substantial amount of discretion when determining if a person is displaying behaviors typical of intoxication behind the wheel. Because a valid traffic stop involves a certain amount of subjectivity, these new laws could compromise the rights of a driver.
Drunk driving is a serious charge, and drivers should take steps to protect their long term interests. If there were no valid grounds for a traffic stop or a person's rights were compromised in any way, a lawyer could move to have the charges dismissed. As each case is unique, it is wise to seek a complete case evaluation as soon as possible after an arrest.
Source: timesfreepress.com, "Tennessee Supreme Court makes it easier to arrest, convict drunk drivers", Feb. 11, 2016