Tennessee’s Drunk Driving Laws under Scrutiny

Under Tennessee law, a first time DUI offender must spend 48 hours in jail. But a drunk driver convicted of vehicular homicide may receive probation and avoid jail time. Memphis’ Commercial Appeal newspaper has reported three such incidents in which someone under the influence of alcohol who caused a fatal accident spent less time in jail than a first time DUI offender. Under the current law, a judge has wide discretion in sentencing based on a list of 24 factors. Not surprisingly, many find this to be convoluted and are calling for the legislature to fix the apparent loophole. 

Regardless of what the drunk driver is charged with, drunk driving accidents continue to be a problem on Tennessee roadways. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security publishes crash-statistics for alcohol-impaired driver crashes, and the counties with the top 5 crash rankings for 2008-2013 are:

1.       Trousdale County

2.       Decatur County

3.       Bedford County

4.      Perry County

5.      Lincoln County

And during the same time period, the big four counties performed as follows:

1.      Davidson County: 25

2.      Hamilton County: 44

3.      Knox County: 45

4.      Shelby County: 70

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver and would like to discuss your incident with one of our award-winning lawyers in a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787. Click these links for more information on drunk driving accidents and dram shop cases. We handle all drunk driving cases on a contingency basis.