While every driver knows that they should not drink and drive, people make mistakes. They misjudge their impairment, or they think they can drive just fine even though they have had a few drinks. There are also drivers who suffer from addiction, which has a profound impact on their decisions regarding alcohol and intoxication.
These parties can and do face serious penalties for driving under the influence already in Tennessee. They can face massive fines, lose their license and even go to jail for a DUI conviction. And there could be even more penalties coming if a proposed bill in the state becomes law.
Prohibiting alcohol purchases
As noted in this article on Tennessean.com, the bill proposing alcohol purchasing restrictions people with a DUI conviction is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The bill would give judges the discretion to prohibit anyone with a DUI from buying alcohol for a certain period of time. After a first offense, a person may not be able to purchase alcohol for a year. After a second offense, that limit would extend to two years. A lifetime ban on purchasing alcohol was proposed for people with at least three offenses, but that was removed.
Enforcement of this measure would be a challenge. Initially, lawmakers wanted to also punish people who sold alcohol to or purchased alcohol from a person under the restrictions. This would include bartenders and liquor stores owners. However, an amendment removed punishments for these other parties.
There were also concerns over the implementation of including a person's status on his or her driver's license. Citing cost issues, the sponsor of the bill has pushed back that requirement until 2020.
What the future holds
Whether this bill will pass remains to be seen. However, if it does, it would further affect the lives of people convicted of a DUI who already face aggressive penalties for a conviction.
We will continue to follow any developments with this proposed measure. In the meantime, it remains crucial for drivers facing a DUI in Tennessee to understand their rights to defend themselves against these serious charges.