Chattanooga’s neighbor to the north, the city of Knoxville was unhappy with its inclusion in the top ten listing of cities with DUIs and fatal accidents. The study, which was put together by the website Nerd Wallet, looked at DUI arrests, fatal car accidents and the cost of insurance after a DUI.
The Knoxville police point out that drunk driving and DUI arrests are a high priority and than in a two-year period, they arrested more than 3,500 drivers, and averaged 100 arrests per month in 2012.
But according to one DUI defense attorney, some of reason for the high ranking is due to Tennessee drunk driving laws and he suggests that eastern Tennessee has strong DUI enforcement. This results in a significant number of DUI arrests for this region.
The public information officer from the Knoxville police also suggests the fact Knoxville is a college town increases the potential for DUIs.
Because of Tennessee’s strict DUI laws, the statistics skew in favor of more recorded DUI arrests accumulating over time. Tennessee makes it more difficult to prevent a DUI from going on your driving record, as there is no diversion program or deferred prosecution, as is available in some states.
Some jurisdictions allow a driver arrested for DUI to take a treatment program, and if they successfully complete the program, they may be able to avoid having the DUI go on their record. And this would result in that area having a lower number of DUI convictions.
In Tennessee, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as you have been charged with a DUI, because you want to aggressively dispute any DUI charge to prevent it from becoming a conviction.
Source: WBIR.com, “KPD disputes Knoxville’s place in national DUI study,” Aaron Wright, July 21, 2014