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Tennessee Police to Crack Down on Drunk Driving

April 9, 2014

The International Association of Chiefs of Police started a nationwide effort to reduce traffic fatalities by 15 percent in 2014. According to news report in The Chattanoogan, the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association are taking part in the “Drive to Zero Fatalities.” This campaign focuses on a wide range of traffic safety enforcement goals, including increased seat belt use and a crackdown on distracted and impaired driving.

Tennessee State Troopers have focused on drunk driving enforcement lately and this nationwide campaign will only increase their efforts. The statistics clearly show that they have already begun increasing their crackdown on drunk and impaired drivers. The number of arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) made by the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) in the first quarter of 2014 is 47 percent greater than the first quarter of 2013.

The recent increase in DUI arrests is part of a larger trend of DUI enforcement statewide. According to the THP, there were 5,728 DUI arrests statewide in 2012. That is a significant increase from the 4,641 DUI arrests made in 2011 and the 3,233 made in 2010. Counties that led the way in 2012 for DUI arrests include Rutherford County (307), Davidson County (257), Washington County (206), Robertson County (198), and Wilson County (184).

Local law enforcement is doing everything in its power to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents. This includes pulling over all drivers who are behaving erratically and prosecuting impaired drivers to the full extent of the law. If you have been drinking, make sure you use a designated driver or call a cab.

A conviction for DUI in Tennessee can result in between 48 hours and 11 months in jail, fines and penalties between $350 and $1,500, a yearlong license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. Those are the potential penalties for a first time offense. The penalties will increase dramatically if someone is hurt or if the driver has been previously convicted of a DUI. Whether you have a clean record or have been convicted in the past, you will need to act fast to fight the charges and protect your rights. If you or a loved one has been accused of driving under the influence, please contact a Tennessee DUI defense lawyer to start building your defense.