When new traffic laws are put into place, especially ones that appear to affect all Tennesseans, some misinformation is going to be passed around. Usually this misinformation makes the new laws seem to be much more intrusive or overreaching than they may actually be. This is what the District Attorney’s office is claiming has happened in the wake of their establishment of a ‘No Refusal’ law.
They say the ‘No Refusal’ law was put into place for the purpose of DUI prevention. But by name alone, a lot of people believed the law meant that police could force a blood test on any driver they pulled over. The Assistant District attorney has stated, “When it’s called a no refusal law, it gives the implication that we’re doing it for every single DUI first.” But this may not be the case.
There are still certain conditions that are required for an officer to perform a blood test without consent. These conditions include if a person was killed or hurt in an auto accident, if a child under 16 is in the car, or if the driver has a prior DUI offence.
Authorities believe the law puts the power back in their hands by allowing them to decide if they believe the person is using more than alcohol since the blood test also allows them to test for drugs.
The Assistant District attorney sees the laws as a powerful tool against repeat DUI offenders. “They have multiple DUI’s. We punish them every time but not having a BAC there was less we could do to punish them because we didn’t have as much evidence as a prosecutor might need to give them the full punishment.”
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Source. WDEF.com, ‘http://www.wdef.com/news/story/No-Refusal-Explained/SQ1dnENY_kGb24n2sLwf-Q.cspx?rss=3457,’ Caitlyn Jones, January 24, 2013.