When most people think of “DUI,” (Driving Under the Influence), they think solely of alcohol. While alcohol consumption is the most common basis for a DUI charge, it isn’t the only basis. Prescription drugs, even taken as directed, can lead to a DUI conviction. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55-10-411(e). Any drug or stimulant that affects the Central Nervous System to the point that one’s ability to safely drive is impaired can be the justification for a DUI charge under Tenn. Code A.. sec. 55-10-401(a)(1). Likewise, one doesn’t have to be on a street or highway to be charged with DUI. Any place frequented by the public at large, such as a Wal-Mart parking lot or an apartment complex parking lot, qualifies under Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55-10-401(a). As a matter of fact, one doesn’t even have to be driving to get a DUI…only be in “physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle” while impaired. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55010-401(a). Marijuana or even excessive amounts of energy drinks such as Red Bull that hamper reaction time of the Central Nervous System may be possible DUI fodder, but the traditional consumption of alcohol is by far the most common charge and easiest to prove. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55-10-401(a)(2) makes a blood alcohol concentration ( BAC) of .08% for normal drivers a presumption of intoxication. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55-10-401(a)(3) sets the BAC level at .04% for commercial drivers. It is even possibly to be charged with “DUI By Consent” for allowing an intoxicated driver to use your car if the person consenting knows the driver is intoxicated. See State v. Phillips, 967 S.W.2d 826 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1997) and Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55-10-201.

DUIs in Tennessee are serious offenses, usually mandating some period in jail and loss of driving privileges. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 55-10-402(a). There are similar provisions against Boating Under the Influence. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 69-9-217(a). Careers can be ended by a DUI, especially military careers. Don’t face a DUI alone! Talk with a lawyer.

If you have a DUI charge in the Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee area, call The Law Office of Gregory D. Smith at 931/647-1299 or e-mail gregorydsmith.esq@gmail.com.

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