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Campbell County multiple DUI criminal defense attorney

Most of the time, first-time offenders charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol are not given as serious charges as those who are accused of subsequent offenses. A first-time DUI may result in fines, a minimum of 48 hours in jail, and the requirement to go through a treatment program. Serious cases involving injuries or death are given stiffer penalties. However, for the most part, the state of Tennessee tries to make sure that first offenders will not be convicted of another DUI offense. The more convictions on a person’s record, the harsher the punishments will be.

What Happens if a Driver Reaches Four DUI Offenses?

With each DUI conviction, a driver sees his or her license revoked for a certain amount of time: one year for first offenses, two years for second offenses, and six years for third offenses. Drivers are able to apply for a restricted license during the period of revocation.

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Campbell County automobile accident lawyer

The seasons are changing, and that means there will be more rainy days to come before winter sets in. Driving habits should change while on the road, or else serious car accidents and injuries can occur because of road conditions. Hydroplaning is the most common cause of car accidents in rainy weather. This occurs when a car is moving so fast that the moisture on the road causes the vehicle to lose traction. As a result, the car slides across the pavement, giving the driver little to no control. This can lead to cars veering off into other lanes of traffic, resulting in collisions with other vehicles and severe or fatal injuries.

Tips for Road Safety in Wet Conditions

According to a study by AAA, wet pavement leads to over one million car accidents annually nationwide. Although it is an instinct to want to drive quickly to make it to one's destination in a shorter amount of time, drivers should adhere to the following safe driving practices when traveling in the rain:

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Campbell County motorcycle accident injury attorney

In order to avoid injuries to passengers on a motorcycle, both the driver and the passenger must know the safety measures that should be taken. It is safest for passengers to ride in a sidecar next to a motorcycle, but for those who do not have a sidecar attached to their vehicle, passengers will need to ride directly behind the driver. A passenger means the motorcycle will have to carry extra weight, which will cause the vehicle to maneuver differently. It will take longer to accelerate, and both the driver and the passenger will need to lean into every turn to make sure the motorcycle can complete it properly. In Tennessee, passengers on a motorcycle -- and all operators -- must ride the bike with one leg on each side and feet in the footpegs, and they must always remain seated on the permanent seat attached to the bike. Tennessee law also states that child passengers whose feet do not reach the footpegs are prohibited from riding on the motorcycle. If this law is violated, the driver will face a Class C misdemeanor penalty.

What to Do to Avoid Injuries

Before beginning any ride, the driver of the motorcycle should check their tire pressure and suspension to be sure the cycle is in proper working order. They should also be sure their passenger is well-equipped with protective clothing (i.e. long pants, long-sleeved coat, sturdy shoes, helmet) and that their feet can reach the footpegs.

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney

Parents who drink and drive can expect more severe punishments if they drive with their child in the car. Tennessee’s child endangerment law covers DUI offenses with a child in the car, because the child is put in danger when he or she is in a car with an impaired driver. The broad definition of child endangerment is any act -- or neglect of an act -- that causes a child to suffer physical, emotional, or psychological abuse. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported that in 2017, DUI-related accidents were the cause of 220 child fatalities (of 1,147) nationally, and 118 of these were children inside the vehicles of drunk drivers.

Tennessee Drunk Driving Punishments

Adults who are charged with a DUI without a child present can expect jail time and fines, depending on how many previous charges they have received. The following are the penalties a Tennessee motorist can face with a DUI charge:

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Campbell County personal injury compensation lawyer

Tennessee law requires drivers and passengers of moving vehicles to wear safety restraints (seat belts) at all times while the car is in motion. Not only do restraint systems keep the occupants from moving around inside the car, but they also can help prevent an injury that can result from a car accident. While some restraints have been shown to cause injuries such as whiplash or broken ribs, seat belts protect against worse bodily damage and even can prevent death due to a collision. Whether or not an accident happens, a person can be ticketed for not using a seat belt while operating a motor vehicle. It is important to understand what the law says about seat belt use and how it relates to receiving compensation in a vehicle crash.

What Does Tennessee Law Say?

According to the law, drivers and passengers over the age of four years old are required to wear a seat belt if they are in a moving vehicle. The only exception to this law is for vehicles that are used as public transportation or livery vehicles such as limousines, which do not have seat belts available to passengers.

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Campbell County motorcycle accident injury lawyer

Some dogs become excited by loud or fast-moving objects. If properly restrained, the most a dog might do when it spots a car or motorcycle passing by is bark loudly, strain at a leash, or paw at a window. However, if a dog is set loose in a yard, it may run into the road, which could lead to damage to vehicles and/or the death of the animal. A car is much bigger than a dog. It is unlikely that anyone in the car would be injured if the vehicle struck a dog. However, motorcycles are different, because the drivers are exposed. A dog of considerable size could cause a serious accident if it attempts to chase down a motorcycle. The state of Tennessee has certain laws that regulate when dogs can be off-leash, which can determine liability if the pet causes a motorcycle accident with injuries. 

Tennessee's Leash Law Explained

In the state of Tennessee, no dog is permitted to be off-leash--also called “at large”--whether on private or public property. This is to avoid injuries to a person who is not the dog’s owner, and it is also meant to keep dogs safe from automobiles on the road.

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Jacksboro, TN motor vehicle crash lawyer

Most states, including Tennessee, have a required tread depth for tires on a motor vehicle. This is because the tread is what makes a car able to travel safely along the roadways. When ice coats the pavement, adequate tread depth is what can prevent cars from sliding around. Tires can wear out after several years of use and could eventually “burst” if the tread is completely worn away. When this happens, cars can spin out of control and possibly collide with another vehicle, resulting in personal injuries for any of the occupants.

Tire Tread Depth

On average, a tire can last three or four years before needing to be replaced. Tennessee law states that tire tread depth needs to be at least 4/32 inches deep for front tires and 2/32 inches deep for back tires. Other factors that can affect a tire's safety and performance include:

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Campbell County rollover truck accident lawyer

Truck drivers tend to carry a lot of goods on their vehicles when making deliveries. In Tennessee, trucks cannot weigh over 80,000 pounds, and drivers must make sure all cargo is secured before beginning their routes. While most trucking accidents occur due to distracted driving or other forms of driver negligence, crashes can still happen if cargo has not been properly tied down when traveling on roadways. If cargo shifts too much, the truck can become unbalanced, which may lead to a rollover accident. Truck drivers or trucking companies who do not properly secure cargo and cause an accident may be responsible for compensating any victims involved in the crash who suffer personal injuries.

The Reality of Trucking Accident Injuries

Accidents involving a truck account for 1 in 10 collisions on U.S. highways. In 2017, approximately 5,000 people were killed and many more were injured due to truck accidents, according to a report by Consumer Notice.

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Campbell County personal injury lawyer

Some people may like to ride in the back of a pickup truck for fun, but this can lead to injuries if a person is thrown or ejected from the truck bed. Each state has its own rules when it comes to truck bed passengers. In Tennessee, no child under the age of six years old may ride in the back of a pickup truck. Tennessee law also states that no minor under 12 years old is allowed to ride in a truck bed when the vehicle is traveling on an interstate or a highway. Those passengers who are older than the age of 12 are able to legally ride in the truck bed. However, if they are ejected and injured in a car accident, they can seek compensation from the at-fault driver.

What Can Cause a Passenger to Be Ejected From a Truck Bed?

Since there are no seat belts installed in pickup truck beds, it is more dangerous to ride in this area of the truck, especially in certain road conditions. A collision does not need to happen in order for someone to be thrown from a truck bed.

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Campbell County BUI injury lawyer

The state of Tennessee has strict laws against boating under the influence (BUI). Just one offense can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to a year. Boating under the influence can also lead to consequences if one or more passengers are injured during a voyage. The driver of the boat is always responsible for the safety of the passengers and those around the boat. Since alcohol use slows a person’s reaction time, it can be difficult to stop an accident from happening, which is why someone should never operate a boat after consuming too much alcohol.

Common Injuries Resulting From BUI

Smaller boats are often overloaded, which can lead to the vessel capsizing--turning over--and dumping its passengers into the water. If someone enters the water while intoxicated, he or she is more likely to drown due to lack of mobility.

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Campbell County DUI school zone lawyer

Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in all 50 states. Tennessee passed a bill earlier this year to make the penalties for DUI offenses within a school zone more severe. Since most pedestrians in school zones are children, the need for safe driving is more important in order to keep the young ones protected from injury. The new law, which was introduced and passed in February, states that anyone driving under the influence in a school zone will be subject to double the punishment for an ordinary DUI offense outside of the school zone. For misdemeanor offenders, this means that both fines and prison terms will be doubled.

New Tennessee Law

The new Tennessee law for DUI offenses within school zones also covers:

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Campbell County motorcycle accident attorney

Motorcyclists have a lot less protection than someone in a car while they travel on the roadways. This is why they should take more precautions to avoid injuries that can occur regardless if they collide with another vehicle. Motorcycle accidents can happen as a result of several reasons, including negligence by the motorcyclist or other motorists sharing the road. The motorcyclist following too closely behind a vehicle or another driver in a vehicle following a motorcycle too closely can also result in a crash. A motorcyclist weaving in between cars at a high rate of speed is dangerous, and this "lane splitting" is illegal in Tennessee. Poor conditions of the road such as potholes or debris can also cause drivers to suddenly swerve out of the way, thus causing a collision. These types of accidents can result in a motorcyclist who is taken to the hospital with injuries such as road rash, broken bones, head or back pain, lacerations, and even death.

Tennessee Motorcycle Safety Laws

Before cruising on the open road on a two- or three-wheeled vehicle, all Tennessee drivers must earn a motorcycle (Class-M) license. Examinations are similar to earning a regular driver’s license and anyone over the age of 16 years old can work to earn their right to drive a motorcycle. Once motorcyclists complete all the necessary tests, they are expected to abide by the rules of their given state. According to Tennessee law, all motorcyclists must:

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Jacksboro, TN truck accident personal injury lawyer

Driving a truck requires an individual to take special classes for a commercial driver's license (CDL) before he or she is allowed to get behind the wheel of a big rig. Each operator of a truck must know not only how to drive the large vehicle, but also how to stay safe on the road to avoid collisions. A truck accident can occur as a result of negligence by the truck driver on the road. Unfortunately, most truck crashes also lead to serious injuries, including, but not limited to:

  • Whiplash

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Campbell County ATV DUI defense lawyer

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a popular form of off-road transportation for those looking to have fun in recreational areas, especially during warm weather conditions. These vehicles are barred from sharing the roadway with cars and trucks. However, they require a driver’s license just like automobiles in order to drive them legally. Also, if someone decides to drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel of an ATV, he or she can be charged with a DUI. If the impaired driver causes an accident, it can result in serious consequences, such as jail time and fines.

What Are the Tennessee DUI Punishments?

In Tennessee, ATVs are allowed to drive in specified parks, forest areas, hiking trails that permit ATVs, and recreational areas. These are all public zones, so drivers of ATVs are expected to be mindful of the safety of everyone on the trails, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

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Jacksboro, TN auto accident lawyer

Drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road and travel safely. With so many vehicles on the highways, everyone needs to be especially mindful when they change lanes. Whatever the reason for lane changing, a driver should check their side and rearview mirrors and wait until it is clear to move over. If the motorist does not do so, a sudden lane change can cause a collision with another car. Depending on the speed at which the crash happened, the accident could result in serious injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. 

Types of Injuries That Can Result from Lane Change Collisions

Depending on the rate of speed that both vehicles are traveling, there can be severe damage and injury caused by a lane change. Damage to the vehicles includes front-end bumper dents, damage to side doors and mirrors, and rear-end bumper and frame distortions.

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Jacksboro, TN DUI liability attorney

In Tennessee, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. It is presumed a drunk driver is liable to pay compensation for any injury or death caused by driving while intoxicated since it is an act of reckless driving. However, there are some cases in which determining liability for causing a DUI-related car accident may not be so easy. Tennessee is one of 30 states that observe a Dram Shop Liability statute, which can place responsibility for DUI accidents on restaurants and/or bars depending on the circumstances.

What Is the Dram Shop Liability Statute?

Under Tennessee law, a licensed establishment that sells alcohol to a person who is may be held liable for damages in an alcohol-related car accident. They may be required to pay compensation for any personal injury or wrongful death caused in the accident as a result of the consumption of alcohol sold. Tennessee limits this “Dram Shop Liability” statute to cases in which restaurants or bars sell alcohol to a clearly intoxicated person or a minor under the legal drinking age.

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Campbell County manslaughter defense attorney

Roadways can be dangerous places due to many factors, such as speeding vehicles, construction zones, and treacherous weather. There is a long list of injuries and damages that can occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Death is on that list, but in Tennessee, a person cannot be charged with first degree murder unless the victim's death was planned ahead of time. Instead, if someone is killed in a car accident, the person responsible may be charged with vehicular homicide. It is important to distinguish between the two charges, since the penalties are different. 

Murder Versus Vehicular Homicide

Tennessee law defines murder in different severities. The worst is First Degree Murder, which is intentionally killing another person. The punishment for this crime is either life in prison or the death penalty.

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Campbell County, TN car accident lawyer drowsy driving

Roads and highways can be dangerous places, whether someone is driving for work, for pleasure, or as part of their daily routine. The large number of automobiles on the road increases the risk of car accidents, and one of the primary factors that can lead to deadly collisions is fatigued driving. Truck drivers should especially be careful of driving while tired, since they are often on the road for long hours and during overnight shifts. If a vehicle collides with a larger vehicle like a truck, the results can be catastrophic.

According to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, fatigued driving results in 1.2 million crashes and over 5,000 fatalities every year. Victims of car accidents involving fatigued drivers may be entitled to receive financial compensation for their damages.

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Campbell County BUI defense lawyer

Tennessee is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities. With the summer season approaching, many people take advantage of the warm weather as a time to relax on the water. Those who own a boat should be mindful, however, that there is a limit to how much one should be drinking while operating a boat. According to the Tennessee Boating Incident Statistical Report, there were 113 reported boating incidents in 2018. Of that total, 15 were caused by reckless boating, and six were reported as specifically being caused by alcohol impairment. Like driving, the legal blood alcohol content limit is 0.08 percent, and anyone who operates a boat over that limit can be charged with a boating under the influence violation.

How Is Boating Regulated in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, safe boating is enforced by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Officers with the TWRA are charged with assisting any vessel with trouble and making sure all boaters are operating their vehicles appropriately. At any time, a TWRA officer has the right to board a boat he or she believes to be operating improperly. If the officer believes the driver of the boat is under the influence of alcohol, he or she can conduct a field sobriety test, just as if the driver was in a car.

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Jacksboro DUI lawyer

Even though the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old, minors all across the country often drink illegally. This can occur due to peer pressure or because the minors have easy access to alcohol or drugs within their home. There are many penalties and punishments when a minor is caught drinking illegally, but if they are caught driving under the influence, there will be even more consequences. They will face not only DUI charges, but they will also lose their driving privileges for a certain amount of time.

Tennessee Underaged DUI Penalties

The state of Tennessee has three statutes to enforce and attempt to eliminate underage drinking and driving. The most severe is the Driving While Impaired statute that affects minor drivers between the ages of 16 and 20. Any minor driver caught driving under the influence will have his or her license revoked for one year with no possibility of earning a restricted license. They will also face a $250 fine and service work per the discretion of the court.

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