Wallet Hub recently released their list of the strictest and most lenient states with regard to driving under the influence penalties. Tennessee came in at an alarming 12th, although I would have actually expected us to be a little bit higher on that list. Some of the metrics used to evaluate the individual states were:
- Minimum Jail Time for 1st & 2nd offenses (2 days & 45 days)
- When is DUI considered a felony (4th)
- How long does a previous DUI factor into penalties for a new DUI (10 years)
- Are there additional penalties for high BAC? (Yes, 2.0)
- Minimum fines for 1st and 2nd offenses ($300 & $600)
- Protection against child endangerment (Yes)
- When is ignition interlock necessary? (If above .08)
- How long is ignition interlock mandatory? (minimum 1 year if even allowed)
- Is alcohol abuse assessment and/or treatment mandatory? (Yes, at least one alcohol & drug treatment and possibly additional classes such as VIP)
- Vehicle impound after arrest (Not always)
12th place doesn’t seem so bad at first ring until you realize you are ahead of 38 other states. More than 10,000 people are killed through incidents of drunk driving each year in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that drunk driving caused 31 percent of deaths in car accidents in 2012. While these numbers actually represent a decline in the past few decades, they still signal how dangerous drunk drivers can be on the road. Like many other states, Tennessee has taken these statistics seriously, as they should. However, having a drink and driving is not illegal. Impaired driving is illegal and there is a difference.
If you have received a DUI or know someone who has, please contact Mr. Brock for a free consultation in his office, over the phone, or even via Skype!