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This is why drunk drivers who cause accidents in Nashville can face lawsuits and prison time

Nashville, TN – There are statutes in Tennessee and other states that make drunk driving illegal. Law enforcement in the state actively looks for signs of impairment when they observe traffic or investigate accidents, and they are given the authority to make an arrest based on what they see at these times. A person who is caught will have to deal with serious consequences such as criminal penalties, and there may also be civil lawsuits brought by anyone who sustained an injury due to the driver’s actions. Accident victims should always meet with a drunk driving collision lawyer in Nashville to discuss their situation and find out if a lawsuit is necessary. 

Criminal penalties for drunk driving offenses

Drivers who have consumed drugs or alcohol can be prosecuted by the government under Tennessee’s DUI laws. A first offense includes a one year license suspension, fines of up to $1500, the possibility of up to one year in jail, and substance abuse treatment if the judge decides it is necessary. If the person has a second conviction within five years, they will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. As with drunk driving penalties in all states, those who have prior convictions can face much more serious penalties, especially if they are within a short time period of the last offense. 

If there is a serious injury or fatality during the collision, the driver will be charged with vehicular assault which is a class D felony. The driver can lose their license for up to five years and there is the possibility of up to twelve years of prison time. 

Civil consequences

Even if the driver is never convicted or charged with a criminal offense, accident victims always have the right to bring a civil lawsuit for compensation. The case can be brought with the help of a Tennessee accident attorney. The consequences of these cases can include making the driver pay for medical treatment, lost income and wages, pain and suffering, or even punitive damages meant as a punishment for their actions. In order to succeed, the victim only needs to prove that the driver was negligent, which is a lower burden than the beyond all reasonable doubt standard used in criminal court. While drunk driving is relevant to showing negligence, any actions that may be used to show a deviation from the proper standard of care for drivers can help the victim win their case. For this reason, most accident lawsuits are settled out of court for a fair amount of compensation.

More information from an attorney in Tennessee

USAttorneys.com is a site that helps people find lawyers in their city. Anyone who needs assistance with the process to find an attorney in Nashville and other cities can call 800-672-3103

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