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Could repeat DUI offenders be placed on a registry?

Most people know that there is a TBI registry for sex offenders to help families and other vulnerable people in their neighborhoods. But what would happen if repeat DUI offenders in Tennessee were also on a registry?

According to WJHL, a local politician introduced a bill that would create a TBI registry for repeat DUI offenders with photos and other identifying data of the offenders. The bill is currently with a House subcommittee where representatives will consider sending the proposal to the House floor.

Repercussions of a repeat offense

If the bill becomes law, it would be one of the many severe consequences that drivers see after a DUI conviction. Examples include:

  • Up to 11 months and 29 days in jail for a first, second or third offense DUI. First offense carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 48 hours but 7 consecutive days in jail if blood alcohol level is .20 or higher. Second offense – 45 days consecutive; third offense – 120 consecutive days; felony DUI – fourth or more – 150 consecutive days with the potential of a prison sentence up to 15 years.
  • Between $350 to $15,000 in mandatory fines
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Alcohol treatment program
  • Vehicle seizure
  • Ignition Interlock Device installation
  • Paying restitution to people who suffered personal injuries or loss

Any of these possible punishments would take a significant toll on a person’s finances and their emotional state.

There could be more emotional damage if the House passes the proposal into law because repeat offenders might never fully recover from their previous mistakes. It would follow them to any job interviews, apartment applications and possibly taking out loans or opening financial accounts.

Luckily, drivers do not need to worry about a registry right now. They do need to worry about fines, jail time and the future effects it has on employment and transportation. To avoid those, it’s crucial to fight any drunk driving charges.

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