Shelby County just got a substantial amount of money to fight drunk driving. Tennessee residents who live in the area should be aware of these new measures, as well as their rights if arrested for DUI. Government representatives have said that much of the money will go toward paying for overtime for law enforcement. With this new grant, there will more police officers in the area monitoring for signs of suspected drunk driving.

Just before this new grant was announced, a judge announced that those arrested for a fourth DUI could spend up to 150 days in jail, followed by mandatory enrollment in an alcohol treatment program. Officials will also be working on a system that will make it easier to track repeat offenders. Repeat offenders typically face steep penalties, expensive fines and may lose their right to drive. 

In Tennessee, first-time offenders currently spend 48 hours in jail, must attend an alcohol treatment program and are subject to other various penalties. While these penalties seem steep, anti-drunk driving advocates claim that Tennessee is too lenient on repeat offenders. It is important to remember that no matter how many drunk driving arrests a person has on his or her record, or if it is a first offense, a accused individual always has the right to a defense. 

Despite Shelby County’s effort to increase drunk driving monitoring, those arrested for DUI still have legal rights. It is important to protect the entitlements granted to those accused of a crime. Typically, seeking the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer is a smart move. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to achieve a dismissal of the charges or to mitigate the possible penalties following a conviction.

Source: wreg.com, “Shelby County gets grant money to fight drunk driving“, Caitlin Alexander, Sept. 22, 2015