New Laws Strengthen Penalties for Drunk Drivers

Motor vehicle accidents in Anderson caused by drunk drivers can be devastating for those who are injured as a result. While drunk drivers are often subject to criminal punishment, it can be frustrating when sentences are lenient. That is why two new Tennessee laws that took effect at the beginning of the year were enacted to tackle this issue.

Previously, if a driver was convicted of causing a fatal car accident while he or she was under the influence, the sentence could vary greatly depending on which judge heard the case. According to WBRC, under the new law, probation is no longer an option for drunk drivers who are involved in a fatal crash. Now, serving jail time will be mandatory for DUI vehicular homicide convictions.

That second new law that took effect at the start of 2017 aims to tackle the problem ofrepeat DUI offenders, reports WCYB. Since people who are convicted of more than one DUI are likely to commit subsequent offenses, the new law aims to keep these offenders off of the road for a longer period of time.

The punishment for someone who is convicted of six DUI charges will now be as lengthy as 12 years in prison. The offense of having multiple DUI convictions has been upgraded from a Class E felony to a Class D felony, which carriers a lengthier punishment. Previously, those convicted of four DUI’s could receive a maximum prison sentence of only six years. Once released from prison, multiple offenders may still be subject to costly fines and probation as well.

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