Tennessee law is harsh on anyone found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Even first-time offenders face mandatory jail time of at least 48 hours while those who have a BAC over .20% could remain incarcerated for up to seven days. A first-time conviction could also result in a $1,500 fine, license revocation, and an order to complete a term of community service.
Tennessee’s DUI laws are designed to combat a serious problem on our state’s roads. Between 2003 and 2012, the rate of drivers who admit to driving under the influence in Tennessee has been consistently well above the national average, according to research collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The result? Almost 3,500 people were killed in drunk driving-related car accidents over that period.
Drunk drivers put other road users at risk every day. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a drunk driving wreck, contact a Tennessee personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of George R. Fusner Jr. to learn about your legal options. George R. Fusner Jr. has been a practicing accident attorney since 1977. Call 615-251-0005 or 800-427-8960 for a free initial consultation.
How to Recognize – and Avoid – a Drunk Driver on the Road in Tennessee
Research shows that alcohol can turn good drivers into bad ones in the space of a few drinks.
Safe driving requires you to be alert and responsive to changing conditions in front of your vehicle, but alcohol impairs your ability to make safe decisions by reducing your reaction time. It also blurs your vision, disrupts your perception of risk, and leads to drowsiness while you are behind the wheel.
Police officers are trained to recognize drunk drivers using no more than the naked eye. There are many possible signs that a road user may be under the influence, and these are generally broken into four distinct categories:
- Problems maintaining proper lane position;
- Speed and braking difficulties;
- Lack of vigilance such as failing to pay proper attention to the road or conditions; and
- Impaired judgment, evident in unpredictable or reckless driving patterns.
As PennyGeeks explains, some driving behaviors that would fall into these categories include:
- Weaving dangerously from side to side;
- Drifting across the center line or between lanes;
- Braking or accelerating suddenly or for no reason;
- Inconsistent speeds even on an open road;
- Driving too fast in tricky weather conditions;
- Traveling on the wrong side of the road;
- Using turn signals incorrectly;
- Driving in the dark with headlights switched off;
- Following the car in front too closely; and
- Visible signs of impairment such as nodding off at the wheel.
Always keep a close eye on other motorists for these signs of dangerous or drunk driving. If you feel a fellow road user might be under the influence of alcohol, here are three steps to take:
- Pull back and do not get in their way for any reason;
- Make a mental note of the license number; and
- Find a safe space to pull over, and notify the authorities.
Even the most responsible drivers could be involved in a crash due to the negligence of others. If you were injured by a drunk or otherwise reckless driver, contact The Law Office of George R. Fusner Jr. Mr. Fusner has more than 40 years of experience as a practicing accident attorney. Call 615-251-0005 or 800-427-8960 for a free consultation.
Law Office of George R. Fusner Jr.
424 Church Street, Suite 2000
Nashville, TN 37219