Which states are toughest on drunk driving?

It is never a good idea to get behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks in Tennessee or in any other state in the nation. However, the consequences for drunk driving can vary significantly from state to state. A recent study by a financial website identifies the strictest states on driving under the influence.

The website analyzed data from all 50 states and the nation's capital. Some measurements reviewed included mandatory alcohol assessment and vehicle impound. The minimum jail time for first and second convictions was also included in the review. The data was then used to rank states by criminal penalties and prevention rank.

Arizona and Georgia topped the list as the strictest states in the country. Georgia, Tennessee's neighbor to the south, had mandatory jail time for first and second offenses and was the highest in the nation for license suspension. Those convicted of DUI in that state have their license suspended for 360 days. States at the top of the list also have prevention programs, such as sobriety checkpoints and child endangerment protection. Tennessee ranked No. 19 on the list.

The District of Columbia was at the other end of the spectrum, ranking No. 50 in the survey. The city had no minimum jail sentences for first or second offenses, and the license suspension was only for 90 days there. For the entire country, those with multiple convictions spent almost three weeks more in jail than those convicted the first time. A majority of states required ignition interlock devices after a DUI as well as alcohol abuse treatment or assessment.

A drunk driving charge in Tennessee is serious and can have a great impact on someone's life. It would be helpful to contact a criminal defense attorney for assistance. A knowledgeable attorney will ensure that appropriate procedures are followed in the legal process and that the rights of a client are protected. A defense team will work to present the strongest case possible to avoid a negative outcome in the proceedings.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Report: Georgia is among the strictest states on DUI", Najja Parker, Aug. 10, 2017

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