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Drunk driving penalties in Tennessee


For many people, one of the scariest things that they can experience is a dangerous car accident. These accidents can happen so suddenly that people are often powerless to stop them. Even those that are driving safely and defensively can fall victim to a dangerous car accident.

When the accident was caused by a drunk driver, people can feel a range of emotions. They may feel lucky to have survived the accident, they may feel both physical and mental pain and they may feel anger over what has happened.

Many people likely want to see that the drunk driver is punished for causing the accident. They want to know that justice is going to be served. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, those charged with drunk driving in the state will face serious criminal penalties.

If a person is charged with vehicular assault for causing serious injuries to another while driving under the influence, that person can be charged with a felony. If convicted, the person can be sentenced to between two years and 12 years in prison, to fines and court fees and be lose the person's driver's licenses for between one and five years.

If the person who caused the accident had a prior vehicular homicide, prior vehicular assault conviction, two or more prior DUIs or a blood alcohol content level of .2 percent or higher, then the person may be charged with aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated for causing an accident with injuries. This charges is a Class A felony and can result in even more serious penalties.

In addition to these criminal sanctions, people with drunk driving injuries can bring a civil suit against a drunk driver. This civil suit can help people collect compensation for the injuries they have suffered in the accident. An attorney can further explain a person's civil rights following a drunk driving accident.

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