For many, getting pulled over for a DUI may seem completely out of the realm of possibility. However, with a clear understanding of the legal limits in Tennessee, these offenses may be easier to come by than a person first imagines. This is especially true for underage drinking arrests, which lawmakers are trying to crack down on.
In 2016 the legislature made changes to the state’s DUI laws. As The Tennessean reports, lawmakers wanted to make harsher consequences for drivers who are not legally able to drink. With the new law in place, a special session was called to remain federal compliance for highway funds. For drivers who are drinking underage, the legal limit is .02 blood-alcohol content, which does not require much to drink be considered eligible for a DUI. Those 21 and older are over the legal limit at .08 blood-alcohol level.
The new law also made another change that is leaving Tennessee roads covered in litter. According to WATE, picking up garbage along the roads is no longer a condition of a DUI offense. The laws used to jail offenders for 24 hours, and then force those offenders to report for trash clean-up duty for a total of 24 hours. Instead of working off the offense with garbage duty, the law now stipulates that all 48 hours of punishment for a DUI offender are to be served in jail. As a result, local highways are becoming overrun with litter that used to be easily cleaned with the help of those who were working off their DUI arrests.