The holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. Alcohol is often a part of these celebrations. Though there have been many years dedicated to educating the public on the dangers of drinking and driving, many still do it. Drunk driving is a dangerous act that can potentially lead to death. This holiday season, Tennessee drivers are urged to get a designated driver or utilize a car service to safely return home. Unfortunately, though, it is unlikely that all will heed this advice.
Just look at the stats on drunk driving in the state, which are staggering. Since the beginning of 2015, there has been 277 drunk driving deaths in Tennessee. This represents nearly 30 percent of all car accident fatalities. Deaths caused by drunk driving cost tax payers a whopping $1.3 billion. Currently there are almost 60,000 individuals living in the state who have been cited for drunk driving three times. There are just over 17,000 offenders who have been cited for drunk driving five times.
To curb drunk driving, the state has taken legal action to help make Tennessee roads a little safer. If an individual is convicted of a DUI in the state, he or she must be assessed for alcohol abuse and sent to a treatment program. First time DUI offenders are required to use vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device. A citation may be issued for anyone with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or greater.
Any bar or restaurant that continues to serve alcohol to an individual who is intoxicated may be legally liable for any injuries caused by the patron. These laws are known as dram shop laws and can lead to third party liability in drunk driving accidents. In other words, those who are hurt in a drunk driving accident may have several ways to recover compensation for their damages. Speaking to an experienced attorney may help accident victims discover what legal avenues are available to them.
Source: Tennessee Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "Tennessee," accessed on Nov. 24, 2015