The woman at the center of the bizarre case, Maria Guerra, was driving her vehicle alone when she crashed into the median on I-240 in Memphis over the weekend. The accident happened early Sunday morning, just south of Walnut Grove. When police arrived they tested her blood alcohol level and found it was half the legal limit. Despite this, she was charged with DUI-child endangerment because she revealed to an officer that she was four months pregnant at the time.
Tennessee law is different than some other states in that it recognizes a fetus as a potential victim in a crime. For a fetus to qualify as a victim under Tennessee law, it must be viable, meaning that it is at least 24 weeks old. The problem is that Guerra told the officer she was four months pregnant, which means the fetus was only 16 weeks and not old enough to be considered viable.
Officers have said that even though her BAC was only .045, almost half the state’s .08 legal limit, her DUI charge was valid given that it is at the officer’s discretion. Beyond the DUI and child endangerment charge, Guerra has been charged with not having a driver’s license, reckless driving and public intoxication.
This case perfectly represents the reasons that anyone who is facing a drunk driving charge should immediately seek legal assistance. The police and prosecutors can railroad innocent citizens with trumped up charges and a skilled DUI defense attorney is necessary to fight back. If you or someone you know in the Memphis area is dealing with a possible DUI conviction, call the drunk driving defense attorneys at Stroud, Flechas & Dalton today. We promise to vigorously advocate on your behalf.