Can You Beat a DUI in Tennessee?


Find out if, in the face of Tennessee’s tough DUI laws, you can overcome a DUI charge.


If you have failed a field sobriety test or blew over a .08 on a breath test in Tennessee, you might be thinking that a DUI conviction is inevitable. This is not necessarily true. The results of a field sobriety test, breath test, or even a blood or urine test do not automatically lead to a guilty verdict in a DUI case. The test results act as pieces of evidence that will be presented at trial and are not dispositive of the question of one’s guilt.


There are several ways to beat a DUI charge in Tennessee. Most relate to mistakes in the procedure surrounding the DUI stop and the blood alcohol content (BAC) determination. For example, if the police officer who stopped you for DUI made a mistake in the police report or other documentation related to your arrest, the whole case against you may be undermined. Such a mistake casts doubt on the reliability of all information gathered during the stop. It can also be used to decrease the credibility of the officer.


It is also important to review the specific circumstances surrounding the administration of the breath, blood, or urine test or the administration of the field sobriety test. These tests have specific protocols which must be followed in order for the results to be considered reliable. In some areas, officers must be certified and specially trained to administer a breath test. Without proper training or if a mistake was made in the test administration, all results gathered can be challenged in court.


Additionally, the initial reason for the police officer stopping you can have serious consequences for how your DUI trial will proceed. A police officer is required to have probable cause for stopping you and administering a field sobriety test or breath test. Were you driving erratically? Swerving? Moving in and out of lane lines? These can be reasons to substantiate probable cause, but they can also be challenged. For example, poor weather conditions can explain some of these driving patterns. If the court found this convincing and found that no probable cause for the stop existed, evidence surrounding the stop and possible after the stop may be suppressed which means it would be inadmissible at trial. The same is true if the police officer failed to read you your Miranda rights.


A Tennessee DUI charge is a serious matter and, though it is possible to successfully beat the DUI charge, it takes a knowledgeable and detail-oriented attorney to find the weaknesses in the State’s DUI case. The DUI defense attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley understand that successfully fighting a DUI charge means looking at every single detail. We have a thorough understanding of DUI law and criminal procedure that we use to fight for our clients. If you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee, don’t give up yet. Contact the experienced attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.