State v. Henry

Decision Date14 September 2017
Docket NumberNo. W2016–01439–CCA–R9–CD,W2016–01439–CCA–R9–CD
Citation539 S.W.3d 223
Parties STATE of Tennessee v. Chad E. HENRY
CourtTennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Christopher Post, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellant, State of Tennessee.

Michael L. Weinman, Jackson, Tennessee, for the DefendantAppellee, Chad E. Henry.

Unpublished Text Follows End of Unpublished Text

Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Alan E. Glenn, JJ., joined.

Camille R. McMullen, J.

We granted this interlocutory appeal to review the trial court's suppression of the results of a mandatory blood draw from the Defendant, Chad E. Henry, conducted pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 55–10–406(d)(5) (Supp. 2014) (also referred to herein as the mandatory blood draw provision for individuals with a prior conviction for driving under the influence) of the implied consent statute. Henry was arrested and a mandatory blood draw was conducted without a warrant after his car struck the rear of another car. Henry was subsequently indicted by the Chester County Circuit Court for one count of driving under the influence (DUI), one count of third offense DUI, one count of violating the financial responsibility law, and one count of aggravated assault. Following his indictment, Henry moved to suppress the results from the mandatory blood draw, asserting that the warrantless blood test violated his constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. After a hearing, the trial court granted the motion to suppress, holding that the blood draw was illegal because the officers failed to advise Henry, pursuant to Code section 55–10–406(c) (Supp. 2014), that his refusal to submit to the test would result in the suspension of his driver's license. The State filed a motion for an interlocutory appeal challenging the suppression of the evidence, which the trial court granted, and this court granted the State's application for a Rule 9 appeal. In this appeal, the State argues (1) Henry's implied consent to blood testing, by virtue of Tennessee's implied consent statute, operates as an exception to the warrant requirement, (2) the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule, as outlined in State v. Reynolds, 504 S.W.3d 283 (Tenn. 2016), applies in this case because the officers acted pursuant to the binding authority of State v. Humphreys, 70 S.W.3d 752 (Tenn. Crim. App.2001), and the implied consent statute when they required Henry to submit to a warrantless blood test, and (3) motorists with prior DUI convictions, like Henry, have a reduced expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment when arrested for a subsequent DUI.1 Because no exception to the warrant requirement justifies the warrantless blood draw in this case and because the good-faith exception does not apply, we affirm the trial court's suppression of the evidence.

On March 18, 2015, Henry was traveling west on Main Street in Henderson, Tennessee, when his car struck the rear of another car. The responding officers, after noting that Henry had signs of impairment, required him to perform several field sobriety tests. The officers also determined that Henry had prior convictions for DUI after dispatch checked his driver's license. Following Henry's unsatisfactory performance on the field sobriety tests, the officers determined that there was probable cause to believe that Henry had been driving under the influence of an intoxicant, and they arrested him. At that point, one of the officers informed Henry that his prior DUI convictions made a blood test mandatory and transported him to a nearby medical clinic for a mandatory blood draw. Later, Henry moved to suppress the results of the blood test, arguing that it violated his rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The State responded, asserting that the officers informed Henry he was subject to a mandatory blood draw because of his prior DUI convictions, that Henry had consented, by virtue of the implied consent statute, to the mandatory blood draw by exercising the privilege of operating a motor vehicle on the roadways in Tennessee, and that Henry had never withdrawn or revoked his implied consent after being informed of the mandatory blood draw.

At the suppression hearing, Sergeant Jason Rhodes of the Henderson Police Department testified that on March 18, 2015, he was sent to the scene of a car accident involving injuries on East Main Street. He said that he traveled in a marked patrol car to the accident and that the other two officers at the scene, Officer Kyle Carter and Officer Michael Rhodes, arrived in separate patrol car. Upon arriving at the scene, Sergeant Rhodes determined that Henry was at fault for the car accident that resulted in injuries to Audrey Kerr, the driver of the other car. Although he acknowledged stating in his police report that Kerr had not been injured in the accident, Sergeant Rhodes said Kerr told him at the scene that she had been hurt in the accident but did not wish to be transported in an ambulance to the hospital.

When Sergeant Rhodes asked Henry what happened to cause the accident, Henry said that "he had blacked out and couldn't recall." Sergeant Rhodes then asked Henry if he had consumed any alcohol or drugs, and Henry replied that the only thing he had consumed was a prescription painkiller. After noticing that Henry was unsteady on his feet, was restless, and had slurred speech, Sergeant Rhodes had Henry perform several field sobriety tests. These tests included asking Henry to "say his alphabet," requiring him to complete "the fingertip to the tip of the nose" test, and asking Henry "to count backwards from 68 to 52." Sergeant Rhodes said Officer Kyle Carter gave the horizontal gaze nystagmus test to Henry. When Henry performed unsatisfactorily on each of these tests, Sergeant Rhodes arrested him. A short time later, Sergeant Rhodes heard Officer Michael Rhodes2 inform Henry that he was going to take him to get his blood drawn because it was mandatory. Although Sergeant Rhodes could not remember whether Henry made a statement in response, he stated that Henry was "calm" and "matter of fact" about the blood draw and was "okay with it." He added, "[Henry] never said no, yes [to the blood draw], that I can recall." Sergeant Rhodes said Henry never told him or Officer Rhodes that he would not give his blood or that they were not going to take his blood. He also said Henry never expressly withdrew or revoked any implied consent to take his blood.

Sergeant Rhodes said it was his opinion that this was a mandatory blood draw situation because: (1) Henry appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant and had previously been convicted of a DUI, and (2) Henry appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant and had just been involved in an accident resulting in injuries to another party. Sergeant Rhodes said he determined that the instant offense was a multiple offense DUI after he had dispatch check Henry's driver's license. He recalled that at the time of the accident, Henry had been convicted of at least one DUI in Pennsylvania in 2012.

Sergeant Rhodes did not tell Henry that he had the right to refuse the blood draw, and he did not hear any other officer tell Henry that he had a right to refuse the blood draw. He also said that neither he nor any other officer advised Henry that his refusal to submit to the test would result in the suspension of his driver's license. Sergeant Rhodes said that his police department regularly used an Implied Consent Form, which is read to the suspect and gives the suspect the opportunity "to decline or affirm with a blood draw or a breathalyzer test." He stated that the Implied Consent Form was not used in Henry's case because of a "miscommunication." Sergeant Rhodes said he believed Officer Rhodes had read and completed the form with Henry while Officer Rhodes believed that Sergeant Rhodes had read and completed the form with Henry, but neither officer actually did so. Sergeant Rhodes also stated that neither he nor the other officers obtained a search warrant to take Henry's blood. When asked when a search warrant is required in this situation, Sergeant Rhodes replied,

Mr. Henry would be read the implied consent [form]. If Mr. Henry had consented to the—consented to the blood draw, his blood would have been drawn.
If he had declined [the blood draw,] I would have drawn an affidavit ... and a warrant for his blood and ... continued to a judge ... to ask for that to be signed.

Sergeant Rhodes admitted that this procedure was not followed in Henry's case. Nevertheless, he said that if Henry had refused the blood draw, he would have sought a warrant to obtain Henry's blood. Sergeant Rhodes said he understood the law to be that even in the case of a mandatory blood draw pursuant to the statute, Henry had the right to be asked if he was consenting to the blood test. He also said Henry had the right to refuse the blood test, and if he refused it, then the officer was supposed to get a warrant for the blood draw.

Officer Michael Rhodes of the Henderson Police Department testified that on March 18, 2015, at around 4:00 p.m., he responded to a call involving a two-car accident with possible injuries in the area of East Main Street. Officer Rhodes arrived at the scene in a marked patrol car, and the other two officers at the scene, Officer Kyle Carter and Sergeant Jason Rhodes, arrived in their own cars. Officer Rhodes stated that he assisted Sergeant Rhodes with the accident, and when he made contact with Henry, he noticed that Henry "seemed unsteady on his feet" and "jittery." Officer Rhodes stated that although he was in the vicinity when Sergeant Rhodes was giving Henry the field sobriety tests, he did not closely...

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7 cases
  • State v. Prado
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Court of Appeals
    • June 25, 2020
    ...(noting the state's argument that "implied consent may serve as an exception to the warrant requirement"); State v. Henry , 539 S.W.3d 223, 234 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2017) ("The State argues that implied consent to testing, by virtue of Tennessee's implied consent statute, operates as an except......
  • People v. Tarr
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • February 24, 2022
    ...of an implied consent statute to conclude that consent to a blood test was given for Fourth Amendment purposes"); State v. Henry , 539 S.W.3d 223, 244 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2017) ("[I]mplied consent does not qualify as consent under the United States ... Constitution[ ].").¶ 41 Further, courts ......
  • State v. McMillan
    • United States
    • Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 23, 2022
    ...of the video constituted plain error. An issue is waived where it is raised for the first time at oral argument. State v. Henry, 539 S.W.3d 223, 250-51 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2017); State v. McCormick, 494 S.W.3d 673, 679, n.6 (Tenn. 2016) (argument raised for the first time at oral argument wai......
  • State v. Henry
    • United States
    • Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 23, 2018
    ..."An accused's blood cannot be taken or analyzed unless the search is reasonable pursuant to the Fourth Amendment." State v. Henry, 539 S.W.3d 223, 234 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2017) (citing Birchfield, 136 S. Ct. at 2173). At the time of the Appellant's blood draw, the implied consent statute prov......
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