Policeman administering a breathalyzer test.

Understanding DUI Tests

Law Offices of Fisher Wise  Dec. 29, 2022

Facing DUI charges in Tennessee can be a difficult and confusing experience. No one deserves to go through this frustrating situation alone, especially if they feel their rights were not protected. Reaching out to skilled and compassionate legal counsel can make the entire process much easier to handle, for both you and your loved ones. 

As a DUI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I’m ready to help you navigate Tennessee’s criminal justice system and face your future confidently. If you live in Marion County, Rhea County, Sequatchie County, or anywhere else in Tennessee, contact me in Chattanooga for a consultation and to learn more about DUI tests. 

What Is the Implied Consent Law? 

In Tennessee, driving a vehicle means you have given your consent to take a breath test. Unlike the laws of some other states, Tennessee's implied consent law does not extend to blood tests. An officer can ask you to take a blood test, but you do not have to agree. Please note that the maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% in Tennessee. 

What Are the Types of Sobriety Tests in Tennessee? 

Here are the various types of sobriety tests you might find on the road: 

  • Horizontal Gaze. In this sobriety test, law enforcement officers focus on the involuntary sideways movement of the eyes. This motion might be more prominent when individuals are under the influence of alcohol. This test may also work for illicit and prescription drugs.  

  • Walk and Turn. This sobriety test consists of walking heel to toe along a straight line. Then, the individual is asked to turn around on one foot and return in the same direction. Law enforcement officers check for balance, not following instructions, using arms to balance, or awkward turns. 

  • One Leg Stand. In this field sobriety test, an individual is asked to stand on one foot with the other roughly six inches off the ground. Law enforcement officers look for lack of balance, inability to keep the foot up, sways, hops, arms balancing, or poor posture. 

Keep in mind that these tests are inaccurate forms of measuring sobriety. Nevertheless, law enforcement officers might try to use them to determine a reasonable cause for impaired or intoxicated individuals. You do not have to submit to the sobriety tests detailed above. It is likely in your best interests to politely decline any such tests. 

What Happens If You Refuse a Sobriety Test in Tennessee? 

The consequences or penalties for refusal of a breath test can be: 

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for one year on the first offense. 

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for two years on the second offense. 

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for two years if a car accident results in bodily injury. 

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for five years if a car accident results in death.  

Please note that these consequences may be added to any other criminal charges. This situation underscores why I encourage my clients to cooperate with law enforcement officers. In doing so, suspected individuals can show good faith. In the event of a DUI arrest, though, you need to reach out to skilled advocacy as soon as possible to help you defend your case and uphold your rights. 

Finding the Right Legal Counsel for DUI Charges in Tennessee 

Each legal situation is unique. At the Law Office of Fisher Wise, my team and I focus on protecting our clients’ rights while providing individualized service. We strive to deliver sound legal advice that is both realistic and strategic. Ultimately, we combine a tough attitude with compassionate care. Call today to get the right criminal defense attorney on your side.