By Michael R. Moser
A man facing a fourth offense drunk driving charge is benefiting from a recent Supreme Court ruling that bans the forced taking of blood to measure the blood alcohol content in cases designated by state law.
Tony Lynn Rains, 39, was stopped by Crossville Police Ptl. John Karlsven on suspicion of drunk driving in a May 5, 2012, incident. Tennessee law allowed for the taking of blood from any driver suspected of driving under the influence with mutiple offenses on his or her record.
As a result, Rains was indicted by the Cumberland County Grand Jury in October for fourth offense driving under the influence.
Last month the U.S. Supreme Court issued an advisory ruling that a Missiouri law similar to Tennessee's law allowing forced taking of blood was illegal, according to Deputy District Attorney Gary McKenzie.
The first effects of the Supreme Court ruling was felt last Wednesday in Cumberland County Criminal Court when a sentencing agreement allowed Rains to plead guilty to second offense driving under the influence. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail with a report date of May 19 at 5 p.m. He will serve the balance of 11 months and 29 days on probation.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Worley told the Chronicle Friday that the ruling is going to affect several driving under the influence cases in Cumberland County, and at least one vehicular homicide case.