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Tennessee’s DUI arrest rate down nearly 40 percent in a decade

The odds of being arrested for drunk driving in our state have dramatically improved over the past decade, a new report indicates. Back in 2009, there were 494 Tennessee DUI arrests per 100,000 residents. By 2018, the figure had dropped to 300 arrests per 100,000 – a decrease of 39.2 percent.

The report states that Tennessee had the 29th highest rate of DUI arrests last year. Men are three times as likely to be arrested as women and the arrest rate drops as people get older.

According to an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, drivers in the 21 to 29 age group are most likely to be busted for drunk driving, with that demographic accounting for 33 percent of all DUI arrests. The numbers drop for each successive age group, however:

  • 30 – 39: 26.7 percent of all arrests
  • 40 – 49: 16.8 percent
  • 50 – 59: 12.1 percent
  • 60 and above: 5.9 percent

Those who are under 21 account for just 4.2 percent of all DUI arrests.

The five states with the highest DUI arrest rates are South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, North Carolina and Mississippi. The five lowest are Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Alabama and Ohio.

Over the past decade, Tennessee never finished among the 10 states with the highest arrest rates. Mississippi, South Dakota and Wyoming each placed in the top 10 every year.

Over the past five years, Tennessee’s DUI arrest rate has dropped 27.8 percent.

Of course, statistics are not uppermost in the minds of those facing a charge of driving while under the influence. They are eager to either fight an unjust charge with the help of an experienced defense attorney or preserve their driving privileges and freedom after a mistake.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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