Helpful Information

Tennessee DUI Laws

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Jul 28, 2021

Tennessee DUI laws prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle or being in control of a vehicle while intoxicated. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, drivers are acting unlawfully if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above, or are under the influence of an intoxicant such as a controlled substance.

If you or a loved one suffered the consequences of getting into a crash with a drunk driver, you could be entitled to damages. Contact Labrum Law today for a free case review to determine whether you have a case: (615) 338-9500.

The Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Drivers

Figures from theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 29 people die in alcohol-related car accidents every day. An individual getting behind the wheel drunk deliberately puts their own life as well as the lives of other road users at risk. Even low amounts of alcohol or controlled substances can impair drivers.

Intoxicated drivers can experience:

  • Vastly reduced reaction time
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased risk-taking
  • Difficulty estimating other vehicles' speed
  • Impaired decision-making skills
  • Coordination problems

If a drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver is responsible for your accident in Tennessee, you could have legal recourse and recover compensation for your losses. An experienced car accident attorney at Labrum Law can advise you comprehensively, and ensure your legal rights remain protected. Get help now and contact us for a free consultation.

Types of Compensation Victims Could Recover in a DUI Accident

If an intoxicated driver caused your injuries and expenses, under Tennessee DUI laws, you could potentially hold them responsible for your injuries and losses. There is no one-size-fits-all settlement in drunk-driving cases. Compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, and the facts of the accident. However, you could potentially recover:

  • All current and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and future lost income
  • Future lost earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical pain and anguish
  • Emotional suffering
  • Reduced life quality
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Permanent disability

You could potentially receive other types of compensation, depending on your specific car accident case. A Tennessee car accident attorney can assess your accident and determine the value of your case.

Wrongful Death Case

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were almost 6,000 alcohol-related crashes in the state in 2020 alone, despite Tennessee's DUI laws. Unfortunately, not all victims of drunk drivers survive a crash. If your loved one died in a car accident with a drunk driver, you could potentially file a wrongful death claim. Damages recoverable by close family members of the deceased car accident victim can include but are not limited to:

  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Medical costs incurred before death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of income and benefits from the decedent
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of inheritance

Losing a loved one in a tragic accident is heartbreaking. If you experienced the tragic loss of your loved one, the compassionate attorneys at Labrum Law Firm can walk you through your options for getting justice. 

Proving a Drunk Driving Accident Case

Proving negligence and liability in a drunk driving case is not always as straightforward as it might seem at first glance. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, proving fault could be challenging. In some cases, proof for a driver's intoxication can be hard to obtain, potentially leaving victims struggling to prove negligence. Evidence that can help with proving fault of a drunk driver can include:

  • Breathalyzer data from the local police department
  • Police accident report
  • Witness statements
  • Traffic or dash-camera footage
  • Black box data

The available evidence can help your attorney build a case and prove the following four elements of a personal injury lawsuit:

  • The defendant had a duty of care
  • They breached duty of care by driving intoxicated and causing the accident
  • The defendant's negligence caused your injuries and damages
  • You have damages such as medical bills

Possibility of Several Defendants

If the driver in your case was served more alcohol despite appearing intoxicated, whether at a restaurant, bar, or other property, you could have a case against the company or person who served them too much alcohol.

Since drunk-driving cases can be complex, consider consulting with a Tennessee car accident lawyer who can determine your legal options and next best steps for recovering the compensation you deserve and need.

The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Drunk Driving Cases

A drunk driver not only negligently caused your accident and could be held to account for your damages, but they also committed a crime. When an intoxicated driver causes an accident, they will most likely face criminal charges under Tennessee DUI laws.  However, these criminal charges are not necessarily brought by the injured victims but by the state and public prosecutors. Criminal charges, while important to help fight drunk driving, do not compensate victims for their losses.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

Typically, victims of drunk drivers will have to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation they need to put their lives back together. A car accident lawyer can help victims assess their options and determine the next best steps for holding an intoxicated driver to account.

How Labrum Law Can Help

Tennessee is seeing thousands of drunk-driving accidents each year. Suffering catastrophic injuries in a car accident with a negligent and intoxicated driver can change an individual's life forever. If this has happened to you or a family member, we can be there for you. You do not have to struggle through a potentially complicated and lengthy lawsuit on your own.

The experienced and determined attorneys from Labrum Law can help you in various ways, including but not limited to:

  • Communicating and negotiating with the at-fault party's insurance company
  • Gathering evidence to prove negligence
  • Calculating your damages and expected future damages
  • Presenting your case strongly at trial

We can investigate your accident, analyze evidence, and work with expert witnesses to build a comprehensive case against the drunk driver and other potentially liable parties.

Time can be of the essence as victims generally only have one short year to file a personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee. Contact us now to learn about your legal rights and options in a free consultation: (615) 338-9500.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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We offer a free consultation and we’ll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today at 615-338-9500 to schedule an appointment.

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