Tennessee Personal Injury Law: DUI Collisions & Drunk Driving
Drunk driving collisions are some of the most dangerous types of accidents resulting in injury. In the state of Tennessee, as well as across the United States, government regulations for operating motor vehicles requires that drivers assure their own sobriety before getting behind the wheel of a car or truck.
Any substance that impairs perception is illegal when put in conjunction with driving a car, as it highly increases the likelihood of accidents on the road. Intoxicated drivers risk not only the lives of themselves and their passengers, but also all other drivers and pedestrians around them. Alcohol, marijuana, and any other drug that inhibits judgment while driving are grounds for a Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, charge – and this means severe penalties for the persons at fault.
State Guidelines For Driving Under The Influence
Tennessee state legislation maintains that drivers are legally “intoxicated” when they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of at least 0.08%. Even if there is no other evidence proving that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a BAC at or exceeding 0.08% qualifies drivers for DUI penalties.
Tennessee courts also hold that DUI charges are derivative of driver negligence, which means that drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers are responsible for any damages or injuries that occur as a result of a collision. Regardless of actions taken while driving, just having the minimum blood alcohol content evidencing intoxication legally proves negligence.
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Consequences Of DUIs
In addition to being liable for damages and injuries that occur at the hands of an intoxicated driver, he or she is also likely to face increased penalties due to punitive damages. Furthermore, DUI offenders are often confronted with jail time due to their negligence or recklessness while operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Tennessee courts, as well as any other state in the nation take driving under the influence very seriously, so consequences are generally quite severe for drunk drivers who cause traffic accidents.
Damages And DUI Collisions
Many individuals penalized for driving under the influence also face charge related to acts of recklessness while driving. This is not the standard for all DUI cases, but it is not uncommon for drivers to be accused of “reckless” actions while under the influence that go beyond mere negligence. Under Tennessee state law, recklessness while driving is defined as the act of intentionally engaging in inappropriately dangerous activity. Punitive damages almost always surface when recklessness is involved in a DUI case, which means that the offending driver in a DUI accident will be required by law to provide victims with more monetary compensation than is simply necessary to cover automobile damage and hospital expenses.
It is also possible for the intoxicated driver his or herself to file for damages under certain circumstances. Such a situation might occur when the person accused of driving under the influence of alcohol is able to prove that the establishment that served him or her alcohol allowed or encouraged overindulgence leading to intoxicated driving. In this case, drivers are recommended to file for a “liquor liability claim” against the bar or other alcohol-serving establishment responsible for providing too much alcohol.
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Contact our offices if you or a loved one has suffered from mental or physical harm as the result of an automobile collision involving an intoxicated driver. Our team of attorneys has the resources, connections, and experience best suited for ensuring the most satisfactory settlements for clients in a wide variety of circumstances. As the victim of a drunk driving accident, you are entitled to damages for your suffering or losses; so don’t wait to take legal action! Set up an initial consultation with one of our skilled lawyers, and get on track towards receiving the compensation you deserve.