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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 13, 2014

Head Comment: With concurring opinion.

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Jamie Carter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Mark Stephens, District Public Defender, and Jim D. Owen, Assistant Public Defender, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Corrin Kathleen Reynolds.

Judge(s): EASTER

Defendant, Corrin Kathleen Reynolds, was charged with several criminal offenses, including driving under the influence, after she was involved in a fatal car accident in Knox County. While Defendant was at the hospital being treated for her injuries, a blood sample was taken for law enforcement purposes. Defendant filed motions seeking to suppress the results of the blood analysis. After two hearings, the trial court granted Defendant’s motion. The trial court and this Court granted the State’s request to pursue an interlocutory appeal. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we determine that the record supports the trial court’s conclusion that Defendant did not give actual consent to the contested blood draw. However, the record preponderates against the trial court’s conclusion that Officer Strzelecki lacked probable cause to believe that Defendant had consumed alcohol. Therefore, we determine that the warrantless blood draw was proper under subsection (f)(1) of the implied consent statute because Defendant did not refuse the blood draw. Accordingly, Defendant’s blood test results are not subject to suppression on the grounds argued; we reverse the trial court’s grant of Defendant’s motion to suppress and remand this matter for further proceedings.