Appeals Court Strikes Down Tennessee’s DUI Fee

From our Longer Leash files comes news out of Tennessee that an appeals court has decided to strike down a $250 DUI Fee.  The Fee is ostensibly to pay for the dui test.

Appeals Court Says Tennessee’s $250 DUI Fee Unconstitutional

An appeals court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for state law to require that every person convicted of DUI through a blood or breath test pay a fee that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is dependent upon to fund testing operations.

Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville says the $250 fee violates due process and calls into question the trustworthiness of test results obtained by the bureau’s forensic scientists. State law requires the money to go to the bureau’s intoxicant testing fund.

The case was joined by more than 20 defendants who were charged with DUIs after they provided blood or breath samples, and each would have been subject to paying the $250 fee if convicted. The appellate court wrote that the lower court in the main defendant’s case was wrong in not dismissing the test results as evidence.

The decision said the fee system creates a monetary incentive for forensic scientists through continued employment, salaries, equipment and training.


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