Bills to strengthen DUI laws advancing

On February 19, 2008, in News 2008, by Mark Norris

Oak Ridger
February 19, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Proposals aimed at strengthening Tennessee’s drunken driving laws are advancing in the Legislature.

The four measures that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday are among several DUI proposals this year.

One bill sponsored by Sen. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, would eliminate the two-hour period within which a breath alcohol test must be administered to be used as evidence.

“Getting a person from the accident … sometimes takes longer than two hours,” Black said.

Two proposals by Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, would stiffen penalties for possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle and increase the penalty for fifth and subsequent DUI offenses.

Another measure sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, would increase the punishment for committing a DUI with a child in the vehicle.

In 2006, there were 1,284 fatalities on Tennessee roads, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety. Of those, 509 had a blood-alcohol content of .01 percent or above.


Read the full texts of SB2623, SB2973, SB3041 and SB3042 on the General Assembly’s Web site.

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