There was a time when having a few drinks before getting in a vehicle was not seen as alarming behavior. There was even a saying, used as people would leave a bar or party, that they would have “One for the road.”
No longer. Drinking and driving are recognized as posing a great risk to all drivers, and the punishment that accompanies driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and convictions have steadily increased in duration and severity.
In Chattanooga last week, as an example of the severe charges one can face when involved in a DUI, a man was charged with a vehicular homicide and DUI. He was involved in a crash last year, where his vehicle crossed a centerline of Rossville Boulevard and hit a pickup truck head-on. The pickup driver died at the scene, and this man received critical injuries.
According to the news story, this is the man’s fourth DUI in Tennessee. He had previously entered a guilty plea to a second offense in 2006. He was charged again in 2007 with his third DUI. This most recent DUI charge is his fourth. After the hearing he posted bond, and now awaits the setting of his trial date.
If this man is convicted, he could face severe penalties, including fines and jail time. After serving the jail sentence, he could face further driving restrictions, such has having to use an ignition interlock device, which forces the driver to provide breath samples before starting their car and at random intervals during their drive.
It is important to contest every DUI charge, as a plea or conviction for a first DUI will make any subsequent DUI charges more expensive and likely to result in significant fines and jail time.
Source: Timesfreepress.com, “Man charged with vehicular homicide in 2013 Chattanooga crash,” David Cobb, May 8, 2014