It is widely accepted that drinking and driving do not mix. Regardless of how well it is known and accepted, drunk driving accidents remain a problem that has not been solved. A Tennessee legislator is making an effort to reduce the number of DUI incidents in the state.

A bill, Senate Bill 683, is being considered in the state senate. The bill would require stiffer penalties for repeat DUI offenses. The current law for a repeat offense mandates a 45 day jail term unless a judge orders participation in a substance abuse program, which would reduce jail time to 25 days. The bill being considered would increase the minimum sentence for a repeat offense to 11 months and 29 days.

The bill is known as “Dustin’s Law” in honor of a young man who was killed by a drunk driver in 2010. The woman who was found responsible for the accident was sentenced to eight years in that case and paroled after five years. Her parole was revoked after a hearing determined that she had been drinking in the period leading up to her hearing. It is hoped that stiffer penalties for repeat offenders would reduce the number of fatalities.

If a person is drinking, the safest option is not to drive in Tennessee. If the unfortunate does occur, and one is involved in a drunk driving incident, it can be a very scary and unsettling experience. This may be particularly true in the event of a first time offense. As awful as the experience may seem, a lawyer may be able to help soften the shock and will be able to ensure that one is aware of all of one’s rights under the law.