According to a report from WalletHub, Tennessee is the 12th strictest state when it comes to DUI enforcement rules. The state is a close runner to its eastern neighbor, which ranks in the 8th position on WalletHub's report.
Police offices in one Tennessee town stated they weren't surprised at how Tennessee ranked in the report. Consequences for drunk driving convictions in the state are higher than they are in some areas. For example, a first time offender convicted of DUI spends a minimum amount of two days in jail in the state. Jail time is served in addition to any fines and other consequences.
Fines can be as high as $2,500, says one police officer. Those convicted of a DUI charge are also usually put on probation of up to 12 months and must attend classes. Consequences for second and third convictions on DUI charges are even more severe.
While officers are glad that state cracks down on drunk driving, as statistics indicate it kills over 10,000 people nationally each year, the strict nature of DUI laws can have unintended consequences. Individuals who simply had a drink with friends during dinner and drove home could fail a breath test and be subject to the severe consequences of Tennessee DUI law. In some cases, police are overly enthusiastic about protecting citizens on the road and mistakenly identify drunk drivers who were not, in fact, drinking at all.
While following the law and not getting behind the wheel after drinking is the best way to avoid potential criminal defense issues, if you do find yourself facing possible DUI charges, it's important to understand your rights and how to best manage your case. Seeking early assistance with a defense strategy may help reduce the consequences of the allegations.
Source: WCYB, "Virginia & Tennessee among toughest states on DUI," Kristen Quon, June 17, 2015