Whenever there is a car accident, the police may try to ascertain if any kind of drugs or alcohol was responsible or played a role in the crash. If alcohol did play a role and someone was injured, the potential charges could have very serious consequences should a conviction follow. In addition, if someone arrested for DUI in Tennessee has prior convictions, the penalties may be compounded and pose serious challenges for someone.
One recent accident involved a man who was driving with his 10-year-old son and also an 11-year-old boy in the car. The man crashed the car. His 10-year-old son died as a result, and the 11-year-old child suffered injuries and required medical treatment.
Police determined the man lost control of the vehicle and then hit a pole and also a tree. He was found to be under the influence, although it is not clear why police believed he was or what tests may have been conducted to try to confirm these suspicions. He was charged with a third offense DUI and vehicular homicide, along with a number of other charges.
Prior convictions related to drunk driving can lead to a longer time without a license and higher fines if a new conviction is obtained. With a conviction, jail time is also a very real possibility, particularly if a person has died in a crash related to drunk driving. As with any drunk driving case in Tennessee and regardless of the injuries involved, the evidence at the scene or any kind of tests to determine alcohol levels may be offered as evidence in a case. However, the test results may also be refuted and potentially ruled inadmissible in court, based upon claims of a denial of due process or other valid objections that arguably constitute a violation of the legal rights of the accused.
Source: wbir.com, "DUI suspect crashes car, kills son and hurts another child", Nov. 24, 2014