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Repeat DUI offender may get less jail time in Tennessee

Alcohol can play a role in helping someone to enjoy life from time to time. However, when a person makes the unfortunate mistake of drinking and driving, the potential consequences can result in a criminal record. Being caught driving under the influence multiple times can have even more severe legal consequences in Tennessee. Repeat DUI offenders, however, may get a break, according to new legislation that the Tennessee General Assembly is considering.

The state government wants people who have been convicted of a DUI offense two or three times to be able to reduce a portion of their jail time. In exchange, these individuals would undergo alcohol abuse treatment. This may include taking part in outpatient programs.

At this point, offenders do not have the option of completing intense, long-term outpatient programs in order to get their sentences reduced. They can only serve up to 28 days in residential treatment. Under the new law, offenders who go through abuse treatment still would have to serve 15 days in jail for a second offense and 60 days for a third offense.

A repeat DUI offense can be treated as a felony DUI rather than a misdemeanor. For that reason alone, a multiple DUI conviction is a serious matter. Nevertheless, prosecutors in Tennessee must prove that the person charged with driving while intoxicated actually committed the crime in question. This individual reserves the right to ensure that all of his or her legal rights are safeguarded at each stage of the criminal court proceedings in our state.

Source: The Tennessean, TN bill would reduce jail time for repeat DUI offenders, No author, Feb. 2, 2014

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