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Campbell County drugged driving defense attorney

The state of Tennessee enacted 18 new laws starting the first of the new year, one of which looks to decrease or put an end to the number of drugged drivers who hit the road while under the influence. Tennessee’s new opioid law that took effect on January 1, 2020, is meant to keep hard drugs out of the hands of people who should not be taking them. It will require that all opioid prescriptions be sent directly to pharmacies via an electronic note from a doctor. Opioid prescriptions will no longer be filled with a written prescription. The hope is that the drugs will stay with the patients who need them for medical purposes, lessening the likelihood that people will drive while under the influence of drugs.

Penalties for DUI Drugged Driving

Tennessee is giving pharmacies the entire year of 2020 to update their equipment in order to receive electronic opioid prescriptions. That means at the start of 2021, written prescriptions will no longer be available.

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Campbell County driver's license reinstatement attorney

There are many violations in Tennessee that can result in the suspension of a driver’s license, including driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol (DUI), inability to provide proof of insurance, and excessive accumulation of negative points on a driver's record. In regard to DUI suspensions, it can be a long and costly process in order to reinstate a license before a driver can legally get back on the road. Since most people drive every day, it is important to learn the proper procedures for license reinstatement if you are a Tennessee motorist. 

Penalties that Come with DUI License Suspension

Punishments for driving under the influence can be given out to adults over the age of 21 and minors who are under the legal drinking age. Minors will have their license revoked for one year if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.02 percent, and the court system can order extra punishments as it sees fit. An offender could also pay a fine of $250 and/or be required to complete a certain number of community service hours.

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Campbell County DUI defense attorney

Driving under the influence does not limit the “influence” to alcoholic beverages. In the state of Tennessee, a driver can be convicted of DUI if he or she has taken any type of intoxicating substance -- including marijuana -- prior to getting behind the wheel. Even those who take drugs legally for medical purposes can be charged with DUI if they cause a car accident with prescription medication in their systems. Furthermore, anyone who chooses to drive while under the influence of drugs must submit to a chemical and/or field sobriety test if pulled over. A driver is allowed to refuse these roadside tests, although this may result in being arrested on suspicion of DUI. Following an arrest, a driver will usually be asked to take a chemical blood alcohol test at the police station or through blood being drawn at a hospital, and refusal of these tests will result in a driver’s license revocation for at least one year.

Tennessee Law Against Drugged Driving

The more times a driver is convicted of a drug-related DUI, the more severe the penalties. If a driver is convicted more than three times, the subsequent offenses are charged as felonies that are punishable with fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges. Sentences for a conviction include:

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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 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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