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Tennessee man's 8th DUI probably won't be the charm

Drunk driving is dangerous, both to the driver and to other motorist in the vicinity. And we all know how campaigns against drunk driving have worked to steadily increase the severity of the punishment for drivers who have been arrested and convicted of a DUI. A recent arrest of a man in Rutherford County, Tennessee highlights the penalties that drivers who are convicted of a DUI charges may face.

Any DUI conviction can bring serious and damaging penalties, like jail time, fines, license revocations and increased insurance costs. However, for drivers who have had multiple DUIs, the penalties can increase exponentially. The man arrested in Rutherford County has been charged with his eighth DUI. 

Any DUI after the fourth is a class E felony. This means you will be sentenced to at least 150 days in jail. In addition to the mandatory jail time, you will be fined no less than $3,000 and potentially up to $15,000.

When you are eventually released from jail, you probably won't be driving, as the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles could issue a 5-year license revocation. You may not even have a car or truck to drive, as your motor vehicle can be seized, in addition to your license being revoked.

If one role of the DUI laws is deterrence, the fact that a man has been arrested eight times suggests that Tennessee's DUI prevention policy is less than successful.

While virtually anyone can be arrested for a DUI once, someone with that many arrests is seemingly indicative of an alcohol dependency problem, and incarceration tends to have little success in treating such a dependency. Such a dependency would be better served by a treatment program, not jail time.

Nonetheless, with all of the severe penalties, even if you are facing your first DUI charge, you want to have an aggressive defense, especially if the DUI stop is questionable. 

Source: Wgnsradio.com, "Man to Face DUI #8 in Rutherford County," May 4, 2014

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