New DUI Laws Increase Prevention Efforts, Penalties

blowing into breathalyzerA new DUI law went into effect in Tennessee last Friday, July 1. The law requires all convicted DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for one year.

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that prevents drivers from starting their cars until they provide a breath sample. The breath sample must show that the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is below a certain level or the car will not start.

Tennessee’s new DUI law requires judges to order drunk drivers to have ignition interlock devices installed in their cars unless a reason can be provided as to why they should not to issue the device. Before this law was enacted, judges had to provide a reason why these devices should be installed. This led to a low rate of compliance by judges.

Another new law mandates that anyone caught drinking and driving six or more times will have their offense elevated from a class E felony to a class C felony. This doubles the amount of time offenders will spend in jail.

WMC Action News 5 Chief Consumer Investigator Andy Wise and Chief Meteorologist Emeritus Dave Brown lobbied for this law following the deaths of two high school students in a DUI crash in May 2015. They were seeking tougher punishment in these kinds of cases.

Another new law aims to crack down on distracted driving by classifying texting and driving as a moving violation. Anyone caught texting and driving will get points on their license and will be required to complete a driver education course after the first offense.

Have you been seriously injured or lost a loved one because of a drunk driver? The Knoxville DUI attorneys at Greg Coleman law will fight for your rights. Fill out the contact form on this page to get a free case review from a Knoxville personal injury lawyer at our law firm.

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