New DUI Law Takes Effect January 1st

December 12, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Randy Caplinger

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said a new state law is taking effect January 1st to crack down on drunk drivers.

As enacted, the law permits an officer to test the blood alcohol content of certain drivers regardless of whether they consent.

Under the current DUI law in Tennessee, a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe an individual is driving under the influence may request the person submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. If the person elects not to submit to the blood alcohol test they are to be charged with a violation of the Tennessee implied consent law and could lose their driver's license for one year.

Chief Caplinger said the new DUI law, adopted by the Tennessee legislature, requires that anyone who has a prior DUI conviction, vehicular homicide due to intoxication conviction or aggravated vehicular homicide conviction or any person with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time, MUST submit to either a blood or breath test if they are believed to be driving under the influence.

Meanwhile, in his weekly crime update, Chief Caplinger reports that 40 year old Vickie Alvis is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on December 22.

According to Chief Caplinger, an officer was dispatched to an apartment complex on Foster Road Monday, December 5 to check out a report of an intoxicated female. Upon arrival, the officer found the woman at the lower level of the complex knocking on an apartment door. A half bottle of an alcoholic beverage was next to her. Alvis was unsteady on her feet and she had an odor of alcohol on her person. Alvis was belligerent and allegedly threatened the officer.

51 year old James Lynn Hale of Spencer is charged with public intoxication, simple possession of a schedule II and IV controlled substance, and unlawful possession of a weapon. He will be in court on December 22.

Chief Caplinger reports that on Monday, December 5 an officer was summoned to the public square to check out a suspicious person who was lying on a bench. The man was asleep. The officer awoke the man and found him to be disoriented. His speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. The man, Hale, told the officer he had taken some medication. He was found to have on him a bottle containing four pills believed to be Xanax, a bottle with two pills thought to be percocet, and a butcher knife. Hale told the officer that he was a convicted felon.

28 year old Ricardo N. Gutierrez of McMinnville is charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked license. He was also issued citations for no drivers license, violation of the registration law, and violation of the financial responsibility law. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on December 15.

Chief Caplinger said that on Monday, December 5 an officer saw a Ford 150 spinning tires in the parking lot of Mapco Express. The truck turned onto North Congress Boulevard. The officer stopped the truck and found that the driver, Gutierrez, had no drivers license, no registration, and no proof of insurance. A computer check revealed that his drivers license were revoked for a DUI on January 8, 2009.

41 year old Jenna Sue Murphy is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on December 15.

Chief Caplinger said that an officer was called to the CPS probation office on Tuesday, December 6 to check on a possible intoxicated person. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with Murphy who was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. She was arrested for her safety.

43 year old Karen Renee Hunter is cited for theft of property. She will be in court on December 22.

Chief Caplinger said that an officer was sent to Walmart on Friday, December 2 to check out a complaint of a shoplifter. Hunter allegedly had on her person several items taken from the store with a total value of $47.

34 year old Richard Brian Mason is charged with theft under $500 and evading arrest. His bond is $1,500 on each charge and he will be in court on December 22.

Chief Caplinger reports that an officer was dispatched to Walmart on a shoplifting complaint. Mason allegedly had left the store with a stroller containing items which he had not purchased. The officer chased him on foot to Anthony Avenue and placed him under arrest. The stolen items were recovered valued at $148.16

24 year old Lydia Renee Judkins is charged with criminal impersonation and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. Her bond is $1,500 in each case. She will be in court on December 22.

Chief Caplinger reports that police were called to the Dollar Tree on Friday, December 9 to check on two women in the store who were believed to be intoxicated. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with the women, one of whom was Judkins. She (Judkins) initially gave another name and date of birth to identify herself, but later admitted who she really was saying said she thought she had an outstanding warrant against her and feared arrest. She gave the officer consent to search her vehicle and he found seventeen pills believed to be xanax in a baggie. Another pill was found in her purse. The other woman was not charged.

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