Legal News

In Tennessee, Smelling of Alcohol and Admitting to Drinking is Sufficient for Warrantless Arrest
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

The Tennessee Supreme Court made it clear in a ruling published on Friday that performance on field sobriety tests are only a part of establishing probable cause for a warrantless DUI arrest. The court held, “performance on field sobriety tests is but one of the many factors officers should consider when deciding whether to arrest a motorist for DUI or similar offenses without a warrant.”

What makes this ruling a cause of concern is that following the reasoning of the Tennessee Supreme Court in the instant case, admission of drinking and smell of alcohol is sufficient to establish probable cause for a warrantless arrest, even if the if the suspect passes six field sobriety tests.

  
What
Where


In 2009, the police stopped Bell for driving on the wrong side of the road. However, several other people had also driven on the wrong side of that particular stretch of road, as the construction was confusing – this was proved in court.

When Bell was stopped the police asked Bell how much had he been drinking and Bell replied, “More than I should have, I know. I’m not fighting that.” The police asked him to take field sobriety tests, to which Bell complied and he passed all six field sobriety tests.

The police arrested him without warrant, because he had admitted to drinking alcohol, and he smelled of alcohol, and he was driving on the wrong side of a road, where several others were also confused and drove down the wrong side.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Three lower courts ruled that the police lacked probable cause to arrest Bell. And as the arrest was declared unlawful, the results of a blood test conducted later showing 0.15 percent blood alcohol – almost twice the legal limit – was deemed inadmissible as evidence.

However, the Tennessee Supreme Court said that the police had to make a common-sense analysis of facts on a case-to-case basis, and there was sufficient probable cause in this case for the police to arrest Bell without warrant.





 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Commercial Litigation Counsel with Portable Business

USA-MI-Birmingham

Detroit area office is seeking a counsel level commercial litigation attorney with $200,000+ in port...

Apply Now

Senior Labor and Employment Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of our client seeks senior labor and employment litigation associate attorney wit...

Apply Now

Immigration Attorney

USA-DC-Washington

Washington, D.C. office of our client, a Chambers ranked law firm, is actively seeking associates to...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

FAMILY LAW FIRM MARKETING DIRECTOR 

USA-CA-Rancho Bernardo

FAMILY LAW FIRM MARKETING DIRECTOR  IMMEDIATE OPENING  A SMALL SAN DIEGO FAMILY LAW FI...

Apply now

Estate Planning / Administration Attorney

USA-CO-Denver

Robinson, Diss and Clowdus, P.C., a small Denver law firm specializing in tax planning for closely h...

Apply now

Staff Attorney - Advanced Records Center

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Best Best & Krieger has an immediate opening for a staff attorney in our Advanced Records Center....

Apply now

Municipal Law - Transactional Attorney

USA-CA-Sacramento

Best Best & Krieger has an immediate opening for an attorney with a minimum of 4 years of municipal ...

Apply now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top