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Attempted texting and driving stop leads to OUI, other charges

For some cases involving a driver placed under arrest for operating under the influence in Nashville, it starts with something totally unrelated to an investigation into an OUI offense. There could be a different alleged violation that sparked the traffic stop and the subsequent examination of the situation resulted in an arrest. For those who have been placed under arrest for drunk driving or drugged driving, it is important to understand the penalties that can accompany a conviction and that the case and its outcome can hinge on a variety of factors including whether it was a legal traffic stop.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on multiple charges after police stopped his vehicle. Initially, police attempted the stop because the driver was said to have been texting and driving and was not staying in his lane. When the vehicle was stopped, the officers detected a smell of marijuana and said they were going to search the vehicle. The driver asked that he be allowed to explain what was happening to his son, 11, who was also in the vehicle. He then got into the car and fled at speeds that surpassed 100 mph. Law enforcement pursued him and placed him under arrest for violating the law for implied consent, felony evasion of a police officer, DUI and child endangerment.

When charged with OUI by itself, the penalties can be harsh. There can be fines, jail time and the loss of driving privileges. If these charges are compounded by other allegations, the penalties can be exponentially worse. Simply because there is a litany of allegations against a driver does not automatically mean he or she is guilty. Considering the long-term consequences that people can face if they are convicted of OUI plus other charges, it is important to remember that law enforcement has certain protocol to follow when making an arrest. If a mistake is made or there is a viable explanation as to why the driver was thought to be under the influence and did certain things, it could be the foundation to an acquittal or a reduction of charges.

In this case, a man was being stopped for texting and driving when law enforcement states that they smelled marijuana, leading to all the other actions and issues that are part of the arrest. While the charges are serious, that does not eliminate the need for a legal defense. A lawyer with a history of helping those who have been charged with OUI is vital to the case to craft that defense.

Source: patch.com, "Nashville Man Speeding, Texting, High And Driving A Child: Police," J.R. Lind, May 9, 2017

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