Prosecution for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses is quite common in Tennessee. Many people who typically follow the law can make a one-time mistake when they drive home after a party or an evening at a sports bar.
The state has long been able to prosecute those who get pulled over while they are over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration. If a drunk driver causes a crash, Tennessee law allows those affected by the collision to seek financial compensation from the driver in addition to whatever penalties the courts impose for a DUI conviction.
Those accused of impairment at the wheel often face both criminal and financial penalties, as a result of these realities. Recently, lawmakers in Tennessee passed two new laws that increase the chances of prosecution related to impaired driving and impose additional penalties under certain circumstances.
One new law targets bystanders
People who have had too much to drink frequently underestimate their level of impairment. They tell themselves that they can drive as long as they are cautious on the road. Other people often watch as someone under the influence gets in a vehicle and drives away from a bar or social gathering. The Silas Gable Flatt Law will make it a prosecutable crime to allow someone to give someone access to a vehicle in Tennessee when they are clearly under the influence. The offense will be a Class A misdemeanor that could lead to $2,500 in fines and up to 11 months and 29 days in prison.
The other law enhances financial penalties
If someone causes a deadly drunk driving collision, the state will very likely prosecute them. Those who have lost a loved one might then take the driver to civil court. Dillard’s Law expands the right to sue someone for a drunk driving collision. Specifically, it allows an adult who should receive child support from the other parent of their child to demand compensation for lost future child support from the person who caused the crash. These new laws will likely lead to many more people facing prosecution even if they weren’t the ones to drive drunk and will increase the penalties possible for those who plead guilty in certain drunk driving scenarios.
Defending against DUI charges is arguably more important than ever now in Tennessee. Seeking experienced legal guidance is the best way to get started.