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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal), and Varonica R. Cooper, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), for the Defendant-Appellant, Melvin Brown.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Michael McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Defendant, Melvin Brown, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for driving under the influence (“DUI”); DUI with blood alcohol more than .20%; violation of the implied consent law; reckless driving; and driving with a license revoked, suspended, or cancelled. The Defendant refused law enforcement’s request to submit to a blood test to determine his blood alcohol content, and his blood was taken, without a warrant and over his objections, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-406(f)(1) (Supp. 2011). The trial court subsequently granted the Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence of his blood alcohol content. In this interlocutory appeal, the State challenges the trial court’s conclusion that the Code section 55-10-406(f)(1) is unconstitutional and that no exception to the warrant requirement existed to justify the warrantless blood draw. Upon review, we conclude that Code section 55-10-406(f)(1) does not dispense with the warrant requirement and reverse the portion of the trial court’s judgment declaring the statute unconstitutional. Because no exception to the warrant requirement existed, however, we affirm the order of the trial court suppressing the results of the Defendant’s blood alcohol content.