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Evidence Admission of DUI in Tennessee

In Tennessee, any motorist is deemed to have given consent to submit to a chemical test on their blood, urine or breath. The police officer must have reasonable cause to believe that the suspect was driving under the influence to perform a chemical test. The results of blood or breath tests are admissible as evidence in court only if the test was administered within two hours of the suspect’s arrest and the test was properly conducted.

Blood tests in addition must be properly conducted by a licensed medical professional and the blood sample must be properly preserved and submitted to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for Forensic Testing to be admissible evidence. Breath tests are also only admissible if the testing officer is able to testify that the test was administered in accordance with the standards and operating procedures of the forensic services division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and that the officer was certified to conduct the test in accordance with those standards. The arresting officer must also be able to testify that the forensic services division certified the breath device used, that the device was regularly tested for accuracy and was working properly when the breath test was performed.  Further, the arresting officer must testify that he/she observed the defendant for twenty minutes prior to administering the test and that during this period the defendant did not consume any alcoholic beverage, vomit, smoke or have any foreign matter in his/her mouth. Lastly, the officer must be able to provide evidence that he/she followed the correct operational procedure and be able to identify the printout record of the test results offered as evidence of the test given to the defendant.

If the foregoing elements are satisfied, the evidence will be admissible in court. If not, the evidence is inadmissible.

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