Forced Blood Testing in Tennessee: Tenn. Code Ann. 55-10-406 (f) amended January 1, 2012

House Bill 0715 amended Tenn. Code Ann. 55-10-406 (f) Tennessee Blood Testing and Implied Consent Law to add additional ways the State of Tennessee can take your blood without your consent for the purpose of determining blood alcohol content. These new laws became effective January 1, 2012.

Originally, according to Tenn. Code Ann. 55-10-406 (f), if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of another has committed a violation of § 39-13-213(a)(2), § 39-13-218, or § 55-10-401 the officer shall cause the driver to be tested for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the driver’s blood.

In addition to the original section (f), amended sections (2) and (3) state that if a police officer in Tennessee has probable cause that you have been drinking and driving, and one of the following factors exist, the officer “shall” cause the driver to be tested for the purpose of determining the alcohol o1 drug content of the driver’s blood:

1. Driver has been previously convicted of § 39-13-213(a)(2) (vehicular homicide), § 39-13-218 (aggravated vehicular homicide) or § 55-10-401 (DUI); or
2. A passenger in the motor vehicle is a child under sixteen (16) years of age.

Furthermore, regardless of the reason for the testing under section (f), the blood test shall be performed in accordance with the procedure set forth in this section and shall be performed regardless of whether the driver does or does not consent to the test.

So, anyone who has pled to a DUI and is stopped by a police officer for suspected DUI, can be forced to give their blood. The new changes to the Implied Consent laws are just now being enforced by police officers in Tennessee and cases involving forced blood tests for repeat DUI offenders are just now making their ways through the Courts. These new laws must be challenged. If you have been forced to give blood following suspicion of DUI, seek an experienced lawyer to defend you in Court.

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