Drunk driving offenders in Tennessee are subject to some of the strictest penalties in the country. One of these penalties involves the state’s right to confiscate the vehicles of repeat DUI offenders, as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Although Tennessee’s mandatory ignition interlock law and other DUI restrictions are designed to keep drunk drivers off of the road, there are some drunk drivers who continue to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. As a result, innocent people are injured and killed in drunk driving car accidents every year.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, drunk drivers who are convicted of two DUI offenses within a five-year period may have their vehicles confiscated by law enforcement. Once an officer determines that a driver has indeed been convicted of multiple DUI offenses, he or she can fill out a Notice of Seizure and Forfeiture of Conveyances form. The form is then given to the offender, who is responsible for having the case brought before a judge to determine whether there is enough reason to seize the drunk driver’s property.
Before the case is taken further into the judicial process, the officer who initiated the seizure and attorneys will attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the offender. If an agreement cannot be made, however, the case may go before an administrative law judge, who will make the final ruling. Ultimately, the property may be placed into service, sold at a public auction or eventually returned to the owner.
By taking the vehicles of people who have been convicted of multiple DUI offenses, law enforcement officers are helping to clear the roads of dangerous drivers.