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Summer spike in drunk driving accidents

With drunk driving accidents known to increase in the summer months, Tennessee enacts new laws to crack down on this danger.

Tennessee residents know that the risk of being involved in automobile accidents is always present. However, there are some situations that can either increase or decrease that risk. As noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of alcohol by drivers is one factor that can make motor vehicle accidents more likely to happen.

Busy holiday times, including the summertime, also raise the risk of crashes due to the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads. The combination of more cars, trucks or other automobiles on roads with impaired drivers certainly puts people at even greater risk for serious injuries or even death.

How serious is drunk driving in Tennessee?

The NHTSA data from 2012 show that drunk driving deaths accounted for 29 percent of all vehicular fatalities statewide that year. That represented an increase over the prior year as well. Mothers Against Drunk Driving records add that a total of 7,328 drunk driving accidents led to 5,542 injuries and 295 deaths.

Further information provided by the NHTSA includes:

  • Davidson County had the second highest number of drunk driving deaths in the state.
  • More than 25 percent of all traffic fatalities in Davidson County were attributed to drunk driving accidents.
  • In Shelby County, 25 people lost their lives in accidents involving alcohol.
  • Davidson and Knox Counties saw 17 deaths each in alcohol-related crashes.

The county with the next highest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths was Hamilton with 13 lives lost. Rutherford County was the location of another 11 deaths. MADD reports that 29,093 DUI arrests were made in Tennessee in 2012 and a total of 25,930 DUI convictions were achieved.

State introduces new laws to help

Effective July 1, 2014, two new laws went into effect in Tennessee to combat the risks associated with drunk or drugged driving. The first is called the DUI Recidivism Reduction Act and targets drivers with one or two prior convictions on record. The legislation requires convicted persons to spend some time in jail prior to having treatment ordered as part of their parole terms. The use of ankle monitoring systems can also be required at the court's discretion.

The second law, known as Amelia's Law, allows the courts to require people found guilty of drug or alcohol violations to use transdermal devices that allow for round-the-clock monitoring by authorities.

Stay safe and know when to get help

Awareness of drunk driving and its dangers is important and certainly all drivers should exercise additional caution during summer holidays and other holidays as well. When accidents happen, it is important to contact an attorney to get the right guidance and help in order to receive just compensation.

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