TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on May 10, 2016

The Tennessee Supreme Court today unanimously upheld a White County man’s DUI conviction and held that the community caretaking doctrine is an exception to the federal and state constitutional warrant requirement. The decision follows an appeal from Kenneth McCormick, who was arrested for DUI in 2012 after an officer found him in his parked car, and he failed three field sobriety tests. McCormick attempted before trial to suppress any evidence obtained by the officer who approached his car during the wellness check, arguing that the officer should not have seized him without either a warrant or a basis for believing a warrantless seizure was appropriate. The trial court denied McCormick’s motion and a jury found him guilty. A Court of Criminal Appeals had upheld the trial court’s ruling. Read the opinion in State of Tennessee v. Kenneth McCormick, authored by Justice Cornelia A. Clark.