Video of TN DUI checkpoint goes viral on Youtube

3:10 AM, Jul 7, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

As law enforcement agencies continue to patrol East Tennessee roads for drunk drivers this weekend, a Youtube video posted by a Middle Tennessee man has some questioning what their rights are when they're pulled over at a DUI checkpoint.

On July 4, a Rutherford County Sheriff's Deputy ordered the driver to stop at a checkpoint near Murfreesboro. In the video, the driver repeatedly questions the deputy's orders, saying he has a constitutional right to do so.

More Information: Watch the DUI checkpoint video

The deputy goes on to search the drivers car without his consent. The deputy even says the driver is "innocent" in the video.

So far, more than 1.5 million people have watched that clip.

The incident comes at a time when THP is enforcing its "No Refusal" policy in Knox, Sevier and Cocke counties for the holiday weekend.

However, an East Tennessee lawyer, with extensive background in DUI law, said the deputy in that Murfreesboro case wasn't necessarily out of bounds.

The Tennessean: Tennessee Libertarian's Confrontation Deputy Goes Viral 

Knoxville DUI attorney Steve Oberman has more than 30 years of experience in the field. He said the driver should have immediately followed the deputy's order.

"It's very difficult for someone who's coming across a police officer, who's ordering them to do certain things and try to invoke their rights," he said. "That should be left to the lawyer who is representing the person."

According to Oberman, if you do not follow an officer's orders you can actually violate another law. "And, that is failing to obey the lawful command of a police officer," he said. "That in it of itself is a crime."

Previous Story: DUIs, What You Need to Know

Oberman said so long as an officer lawfully stops a driver, he can make certain requests for the sake of public safety. However, there are certain rights Oberman said drivers do have.

He said you do not have take a field sobriety test and, usually, you do not have submit to a chemical test.

Oberman added an officer cannot force a driver to incriminate themselves.

"If a police officer says, 'I smell alcohol, how much have you had to drink tonight?', well, you're not obligated to answer those questions," he said.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Department said earlier today it is currently investigating whether the officer in that video broke the law.

Most Watched Videos