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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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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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Campbell County DUI lawyer

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes has dropped in Campbell County since 2014, but so far this year, there have been nine, bringing the total to 336 since 2009.

Regardless of whether a driver has consumed alcohol, you can expect to be pulled over if a police officer sees you driving erratically down the road. When this happens, and you have been drinking, you could face the possibility of DUI charges.

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Posted on in DUI/DWI

Jacksboro TN DUI defense attorneyHere in the state of Tennessee, there have been dozens of initiatives designed to reduce the number of inebriated drivers on the roads. From heightened criminal punishment to increases in highway surveillance, law enforcement officials and prosecutors are taking drunk driving incredibly seriously throughout the state. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, over 7,300 people were arrested on DUI charges statewide throughout 2017. If you have been arrested on DUI charges, it is critically important to seek out legal assistance as soon as possible. 

Punishment for a DUI Conviction

Due to the high potential for fatal car accidents when a driver is inebriated, the state of Tennessee punishes drunk drivers more harshly than the vast majority of states. Even a first-time DUI offender will face a minimum of two full days in jail and fines of at least $350. Without quality legal representation, a first-time DUI offender could be subjected to a jail sentence of up to one year, one year of license revocation, and potential fines as high as $1,500. 

A second or third DUI conviction carries the same maximum prison sentence but comes with higher fines and much longer periods of driver’s license revocation. If you have been convicted of a fourth DUI, you will face felony charges and a minimum of one year in jail. More severe criminal punishment can be placed on those who are convicted of vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide. 

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