In April of this year, Tennessee State Representative Bill Beck was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. Now, after reviewing a police video of the stop, Cheatham County Judge Phillip Maxey has dismissed the charges against the Nashville Democrat and injury attorney. Beck is partner in a Nashville law firm specializing in personal and work-related injuries, probate estates, and more and is also a certified Civil Trial Specialist.
Beck was returning home following a long night at a comedy show when he was pulled over on suspicion of DUI. According to a news article at WSMV News 4, Beck was pulled over after Metro police officer Bradley Nave passed Beck’s truck and noticed the truck straddle the center lane. The officer then turned around and pulled Beck over. After a field sobriety test that Beck cut short, he was arrested, Nave telling him that he had “way too much to drink to be driving.”
Beck’s attorney maintained that after watching the dash cam video, it was evident that Beck was not drunk. Bryan Lewis said that in the video, “You never see Mr. Beck stumble.” He went on to say that his client did not fall in the video, and that he exited his vehicle perfectly.
On Tuesday, July 28, Judge Phillip Maxey was called in to view the video; he is a neutral party from Cheatham County who ruled that Nave did not have probable cause to pull Beck over. The judge agreed with Beck’s defense counsel in that the video does not show Beck veering across the center lanes as it had been described. Lewis said that if there is an issue with an arrest or a stop is illegal (no probable cause), the entire case is null and void.
Not only in Tennessee, but in many other states the traffic stop is generally the first thing a DUI attorney focuses on first. How much evidence of erratic driving is there, and is it sufficient to warrant a stop by police? Many motorists veer into the center lane or cross the line while driving for a number of reasons – but it does not always indicate the driver is intoxicated, or has even been drinking for that matter.
In Michigan, a police officer must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to pull someone over on suspicion of driving under the influence. If a person is pulled over without probable cause, the entire case may be thrown out.
The most important step to take when arrested for DUI is to contact an experienced and aggressive Michigan DUI attorney who will examine every detail of the stop and arrest, and work to secure the best possible result.