Nashville, TN- Tennessee may have some of the toughest DUI laws in the books, but there some state lawmakers are working on more aggressive DUI laws, especially when the intoxicated driver is involved in an injurious or deadly crash.
In late May two Tennessee teenagers were killed by a drunken driver in Mississippi on their way to the beach for vacation. Police later learned that the at-fault driver was on bond for a prior DUI arrest.
Following the tragic collision, one Tennessee lawmaker, State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, told WREG that he hopes the legislature will work on making laws tougher for people who cause fatal or injurious accidents.
Norris said last year state lawmakers passed legislation which increased the maximum jail penalties for DUI offenders convicted of vehicular manslaughter. They also passed a law that requires any DUI offender charged with vehicular assault or vehicular homicide to undergo alcohol monitoring while they are out on bond in the hopes to prevent accidents like the one that killed the two teens.
Norris said now he and his fellow lawmakers, in light of that tragic accident, should look into how law enforcement agencies could determine if a motorist has cases pending, not just prior arrests. This way repeat offenders who are potentially dangerous can be kept off the road until their case is resolved.
In Tennessee, a fatal DUI accident does not become a felony until the fourth offense, making it another DUI-related law that should be reevaluated. In some states, a fatal DUI accident is automatically a felony.
Despite being somewhat lax when it comes to the penalties for a DUI-related fatality, a recent survey of DUI laws in all 50 states, WalletHub ranked Tennessee as the 12th toughest state on DUI offenders. The personal finance website found that Tennessee had longer minimum jail terms and financial penalties for DUI offenders than many other states.
A person facing a DUI shouldn’t take their charges lightly. In addition to the immediate consequences of a DUI arrest, a conviction will stay on a person’s record for up to ten years. That means for a decade your DUI conviction will be hanging over your head and can be used for sentencing purposes if you happen to get into trouble again. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Criminal consequences aside, a DUI conviction can affect a person’s job, their ability to be promoted and their career choices. A DUI can affect college admissions and the convicted person’s wallet and reputation will take a big hit. Anyone who has the misfortune of being charged with a DUI is urged to contact a DUI attorney located near them immediately.
When you have a DUI attorney in Tennessee working on your case, you have the opportunity to minimize the consequences you are facing. With a strong DUI defense you may be able to avoid the exorbitant costs of a DUI and could manage to keep your freedom. Let USAttorneys connect you with the best DUI attorney in your area to help you with your case.