States are cracking down left and right on drunk drivers. This is due to the serious consequences of drunk driving accidents, such as the potential loss of life that can come with a fatal crash. Some states are going to incredible lengths to make sure that drunk drivers face severe penalties even for a first-time DUI.

Tennessee in particular is known for being very strict among the states for DUI related charges. One patrol officer stated that it is not surprising for legislature to act on a problem that causes so many fatalities. A study done by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration determined that 31% of fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by inebriated drivers. Another study stated that DUI related accidents comprise roughly 30-40% of roadway fatalities. The high amount of life lost in these DUI accidents can be considered a reason why Tennessee is the 12th harshest state when it comes to enforcing DUI laws.

Tennessee is also one of the harshest states when it comes to cracking down on DUI drivers. For example, a first time drunk driver in Tennessee can still face a minimum jail sentence of two days. That is only the minimum; the sentence can potentially last longer. Additionally, even first time offenders can face huge fines of up to $2,500.

Cracking down on drunk drivers and doling out harsh punishments is par for the course in Tennessee. Because of the rigidity of their DUI laws, anyone who is facing a DUI related charge may benefit from contacting an attorney, even if they are only facing a first time charge.

Source: WCYB, “Virginia & Tennessee among toughest states on DUI,” Kristen Quon, June 17, 2015