Drunken driving is a serious offense. No matter where you live, who you are or what you drive – DUI is against the law. Now, recent changes on the state and national level may mean as many as 3,000 additional driving under the influence convictions in the state of Tennessee each and every year. Changes in the way evidence is collected in drunk driving cases is predicted to increase the number of convictions taking place annually. These changes are set to go into effect later this month.
According to the traffic safety resource prosecutor for the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, the theory behind the changes is "more convictions, less fatalities." There were 1014 traffic fatalities in Tennessee last year; over 350 of those were DUI related. Authorities believe a crackdown on DUI convictions will make Tennessee roadways safer for all drivers, their passengers and others.
The majority of the changes to DUI law will affect the arrest process. Drivers who are stopped by law enforcement used to have the option of refusing sobriety tests or a blood-alcohol content tests unless he or she had been involved in an accident with fatalities or injuries. Last year, however, the state law was broadened. Drivers suspected of DUI are no longer allowed to refuse a blood sample if he or she has had previous convictions, causes an accident that involves injuries or death or has a passenger in the car who is younger than 16 years old.
Regardless of the arrest process, anyone who has been accused of driving under the influence in Tennessee will undoubtedly require a strong legal defense if he or she wishes to protect his or her freedom. Because of the new laws, escaping a drunk driving conviction will likely become more difficult. As such, residents accused of driving under the influence may gain the most benefit for defense preparation through securing experienced legal counsel.
Source: timesfreepress.com, "Tennessee to see more DUI convictions," Todd South, July 02, 2013