There are tens of thousands of laws about virtually every aspect of life in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the United States. With so many laws, it is not a surprise that so many find themselves facing criminal charges of one type or another.
It’s an annual ritual: people wear emerald clothes, try their hand at lilting Irish accents and tip a green beer at an Irish pub. While St. Patrick’s Day traditions can be fun, there’s another annual ritual of which you should be aware: the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Chattanooga Police Department put extra cars and officers on the streets to look for and arrest people suspected of drunk driving.
If you drive northwest of Chattanooga for about 150 miles, you will arrive in Hendersonville. The city has at one time or another been home to musical figures such as Taylor Swift, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson and Roy Orbison, among others. It is also home to a police officer who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk driving laws in Tennessee and across the country may be heading toward more restrictive limits on alcohol consumption if one scientific panel has its way. The panel was charged with developing a plan to cut down on the risks of fatalities or serious injuries linked to drunk driving accidents. Each year, around 10,000 people lose their lives across the country in DUI-linked crashes.
Traffic patrol officers in Tennessee constantly watch for signs of intoxicated drivers. People pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving will generally be asked to take some type of sobriety or breath test. Failing a test will result in arrest. People who refuse to cooperate with a test will likely also end up in jail where authorities could insist on a blood or urine test to look for alcohol or drugs. As the criminal justice system processes people accused of intoxicated driving, first-time offenders can expect lighter sentences than those with previous records.
Impaired-driving enforcement will be ramped up by law enforcement through the winter holidays as part of a partnership between the Green County Sheriff's Department and Tennessee Highway Safety Office. Police will set up additional sobriety checkpoints and maintain a highly visible presence on the roads in the period leading up to New Year's Day. In addition, law enforcement agencies locally and nationally will increase public messaging about drunk driving and its potential dangers.
Many veterans in Tennessee and across the country are dealing with difficult emotional or even physical issues, and those problems can sometimes manifest in excessive drinking or drunk driving. One study by the American Addiction Centers found that binge drinking and driving while intoxicated have become more common among military veterans in the past several years. The study used behavioral data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine these incidents and the potential emotional and physical trauma that could be linked to increased alcohol use.
A 38-year-old man taken into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol by the Tennessee Highway Patrol on the afternoon of Nov. 22 was a volunteer deputy with the Campbell County Sheriff's Office, according to reports. A CCSO representative says that the man has since been relieved of duty.
On Oct. 30, a Tennessee man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after he was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident. The incident took place in East Nashville.
If traffic safety advocates have their way, Tennessee motorists could soon be subjected to stricter drunk driving limits. Further, a new national poll shows that most Americans would welcome the change.