In Tennessee, the crime of child endangerment includes driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 in the car. You could find yourself facing serious penalties for a DUI if there was a child passenger in the car, even if the child was not injured. A child's injury or death makes a DUI a felony.
Even though Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, there are still plenty of parties, gatherings, functions and events to attend, catering to adults and children alike. For the kids, Halloween is all about having fun, getting copious amounts of candy and perhaps being a bit mischievous. As adults, we tend to celebrate the festivities with a bit more "holiday spirits" in the form of beer, wine or liquor.
In 2016, there were 3,320 cars that passed through DUI checkpoints in six Tennessee counties over 10 nights according to police records. Those records show that only seven people were taken into custody for DUI. This has led critics to claim that these checkpoints are a waste of time and that they don't work. In most cases, people pass through the checkpoints with no problem.
When a Tennessee resident is accused of driving under the influence, he or she should be aware that the severity of the consequences can change depending on the number of previous DUI convictions the person has. For example, the consequences for a fourth DUI offense are more severe than a first DUI offense.
A Tennessee legislator believes that the use of DUI checkpoints should be evaluated, as it was determined following an investigation that they rarely led to DUI arrests. However, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving do not agree.
According to a study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Colorado School of Public Health, ignition interlock laws are reducing fatal drunk driving accidents in Tennessee and other states. The results of the study, which were published in January 2017, found that the number of fatal drunk driving crashes decreased by about 7 percent, or 1,250 fatal accidents.
Police look for some telltale signs of intoxication when they pull drivers over in Tennessee. They look for bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and the smell of alcohol as soon as they approach your car. If they conduct field sobriety tests, they watch for confusion, loss of balance and difficulty concentrating or performing simultaneous tasks.
There have been numerous recent examples reported in the media of individuals who have been driving while under the influence of opioids. It is a trend that motorists in Tennessee and other states should be concerned about.
Driving while under the influence of drugs has contributed to more traffic fatalities in Tennessee since 2015 than driving under the influence of alcohol. Dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is not limited to illegal substances. Using prescription drugs such as Xanax while driving may also impair a driver.
People who are charged more than once with driving under the influence of alcohol can be severely penalized if they are convicted. This is because Tennessee has strict laws on the books against drunk drivers, and when a person faces multiple DUI charges, those penalties are typically compounded.