Tennessee Man Arrested For Calling 911 For Beer Run

07 August 2012 Categories: All Blogs

You can’t make this stuff up. News Channel 5 is reporting a man in Columbia, TN was arrested after calling 911 multiple times to ask for a ride to go buy more beer (click here for story). While I’m sure he thought it was an emergency, the laws in Tennessee that define an emergency do not cover beer runs. Most people have probably heard the recent TV and radio advertisements about what is and what is not an emergency. The intent of the 911 number is:  “to provide a simplified means of securing emergency services, which will result in saving of life, a reduction in the destruction of property, quicker apprehension of criminals and, ultimately, the saving of money.” (T.C.A. § 7-86-102). The Tennessee law below sets out the penalties for a non-emergency call.

T.C.A. § 7-86-316.  911 calls in nonemergency situations prohibited — Penalty. 

(a) A 911 call for a communication that is for some purpose other than to report an emergency or an event that the person placing the call reasonably believes to be an emergency is a Class C misdemeanor.

(b)  (1) An aggravated 911 nonemergency call is a nonemergency 911 call as described in subsection (a) of this section where:

(A) A single caller makes the nonemergency 911 calls in an offensively repetitious manner;

(B) The nonemergency 911 call creates a delay in the response to an emergency; or

(C) The nonemergency 911 call results in harm to person or property.

(2) An aggravated nonemergency 911 call is a Class A misdemeanor.

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