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New legislation aims to increase jail time for DUI convictions

It is common knowledge that drinking and driving don’t mix. Some people may be unaware of how one or two drinks can impact their ability to safely drive a car. If pulled over, one may be accused of drunk driving, known as DUI. There are also people who habitually drive after having had more than one or two drinks. It may be that these are the people who are the target of legislation recently introduced in the Tennessee legislature.

In a recent news story, it was reported that a person who had been convicted of drunk driving and of killing three people as a result was released from prison. Following his release, he was again convicted of DUI but received a light sentence. This was because the existing law doesn’t allow incidents that occurred 10 or more years ago to be considered by the courts in subsequent arrests. The proposed legislation would eliminate what is known as a lookback loophole.

Repeat charges for drunk driving can be traumatic and indicative of a more serious problem, including addiction. Being killed by an alleged drunk driver is a horrific experience for all involved. It is a tragedy for the family who loses a loved one and can have serious implications to the person accused of causing the accident.

Facing a DUI charge can seem intimidating and even overwhelming. It remains to be seen if the proposed legislation will be enacted into law in Tennessee, but it’s clear that the so-called lookback loophole has caught the attention of legislators. Anyone facing drunk driving charges, particularly if previously convicted of a similar offense, must focus on protecting applicable legal rights while preparing and presenting a defense designed to mitigate the circumstances. That is best accomplished by acting alongside experienced criminal defense counsel.