Thursday, February 8, 2018

Appeals Court Says Tn DUI Fees Unconstitutional

KNOXVILLE, TN- An appeals court has ruled that a fee that goes to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for every DUI conviction is unconstitutional.
Tuesday, the Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville ruled that the current system violates due process and calls into question the trustworthiness of TBI forensic scientists' test results.
In 2010 the Tennessee Legislature voted to raise the fee for DUI testing from $100 to $250. The fee increase was proposed by the TBI.

The justices said the system creates a pecuniary interest for the TBI scientists through continued employment, salaries, equipment and training. A pecuniary interest means that “the opportunity, directly or indirectly, to profit or share in any profit derived from a transaction."

Court documents say fees collected total about $3 million annually.

Prosecutors have not announced if they will appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Photo: Tennessee Administrative Offices Of The Courts