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Tennessee authorities target alcohol-related driver negligence

Tennessee authorities report that the number drinking and driving offenders increased during this past holiday season. In an effort to prevent car accidents caused by this type of driver negligence, authorities are applying increasingly severe penalties for those who are convicted of driving under the influence.

Under state law, drivers convicted of a DUI offense may face jail time and revocation of their driver's license for a year or more. A judge may also require DUI offenders to have a Smart Start Device placed in their car. The device operates like an ignition lock, requiring drivers to blow into it before the car will start.

Notably, this enforcement effort is in line with a recent recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB recently lobbied state legislatures across the country to pass ignition interlock laws, requiring even first-time DUI offenders to install the device in their cars. At present, only 17 states require an interlock after the first conviction.

Alcohol-related car accidents on Tennessee's interstates, expressways and highways often involve serious or fatal injuries. This is due, in part, to the type of negligent driving exhibited by many drunk drivers. According to one study, over 80 percent of DUI-related crashes involve head-on collisions at high speeds. Similarly, NTSB data from 1,566 crashes from 2004 to 2009 revealed that 59 percent of the crashes were caused by wrong-way drivers with blood alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit.

No one should have to share the road with a drunk driver. For those who have been injured by an alcohol-related crash, a civil personal injury lawsuit may help obtain a recovery for injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, such an accident victim may obtain some justice.

Source: wbbjtv.com, "Exploring Life After being Arrested for DUI," Cyndi Lundeberg, Dec. 28, 2012

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