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TN bill to prevent alcohol sales to DUI offenders fails

By Lacy Hilliard
The Tennessee legislature recently attempted to introduce new regulations that would require habitual DUI offenders to have a restriction placed on their license that would bar them from purchasing alcohol.
The bill was originally submitted by Elizabethton Representative John Holsclaw, Jr., however, when it made its way to the House Budget Subcommittee, it was rejected. Though the new restriction will not pass, it seems as though Tennessee lawmakers are becoming increasingly tough on DUI offenders.
In Tennessee, a DUI (driving under the influence) is classified as “driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08%. However, depending on the circumstances of your offense, you may receive DUI penalties with BAC of less than the legal limit.” Though the previous description is mostly based on alcohol related offenses, a DUI can also be issued if the driver is under the influence of any drug, including prescription narcotics that may impair the abilities of the driver.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, impaired drivers kill about 30 people every day in the United States. It is also estimated that nearly 18% of motor vehicle deaths occur as a result of drugs or alcohol.
The penalties for DUI offenders in Tennessee increase with each offense. First time DUI offenders in Tennessee can face any multitude of punishments following a conviction including, jail time and for offenders with a .20 BAC or greater there is a minimum of 7 consecutive days in jail, license revocation for 1 year, participation in an alcohol and drug treatment program, the payment of restitution to any person suffering physical injury or personal loss, a $350-$1,500 fine and the judge may order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device at the offenders expense.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.