A drunk driving conviction can be devastating for any person. Not only can you lose your driving privileges, you can also be sentenced to jail and be saddled with a criminal conviction.
We generally stick to Tennessee criminal law matters on this drunk driving blog, but sometimes matters from out of state send a message to all states. Currently, a district attorney in Pennsylvania is supporting the argument that breathalyzer tests are not reliable sources of drunk driving evidence.
There has been a substantial increase in Tennessee DUI arrests this year. Despite more drunk driving arrests, however, there has been a rise in traffic fatalities in the state.
Several months ago, we discuss how an insurance group was advocating for wider use of ignition interlocks in DUI cases. Now federal officials have gotten involved in the issue, and are trying to entice states to adopt laws requiring even first-time drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.
When most people think of a DUI they think of a person driving a car under the influence of alcohol. Tennessee's DUI law, however, encompasses many more activities besides driving an automobile after drinking. A Tennessee man recently learned this the hard way.
Imagine that you have been convicted of a DUI. You serve a short jail sentence, pay a large fine, and your license is suspended. You have paid for your mistake and you are ready to move on with your life. But wait-you are now told that you must put a special license plate on your vehicle indicating to the world that you have been convicted of a DUI. For drivers in Minnesota, Ohio, and a growing number of states, this form of public-shaming is part of the harsh reality of a DUI conviction.
Police began implementing a new impaired driving law over the holiday weekend. If a person is arrested for driving under the influence, the "No Refusal" law now permits police to obtain a search warrant for a blood sample upon showing probable cause.
Tennessee utilizes a variety of resources in the state's DUI enforcement campaigns. These include running DUI checkpoints and ad campaigns, using additional law enforcement personnel and DUI prosecutors, and using technologies like breath machines. The costs of equipment, employee overtime and other expenses can become quite significant. For instance, the statewide checkpoints on May 31st cost Tennessee taxpayers about $200,000.
A bill that would stiffen penalties for those convicted of DUI when a passenger under the age of 18 is in the vehicle has been sent to Governor Haslam for his consideration.
A bill recently passed the Tennessee House which would allow judges to compel drivers to take a blood test if they refuse to take a breath alcohol test at the time of arrest. The vote on the bill was 52-33, just two more votes than the required number to clear the chamber.