House Expands DUI/DWI Law To Include More Substances

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NASHVILLE – On Monday, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed legislation expanding the scope of Tennessee’s DUI/DWI laws to include any substances that directly impact the central nervous system.

“We know that certain medications and combinations of drugs can create mental impairments greater than that of alcohol alone,” said State Representative Stratton Bone (D-Lebanon). “People who knowingly intoxicate themselves with prescription drugs, even over the counter cold medicines, and get behind the wheel of a car are just as dangerous as folks who choose to drink and drive.”

House Bill 3280 sponsored by Representative Kent Coleman (D-Murfreesboro) is a bipartisan bill that revises the list of substances that can be cited as causes for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) violations. Under the new measure, it would be unlawful to operate a car while under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, drug, substance or combination thereof, affecting the central nervous system.

“We have to do more to take dangerous people off our roads and out from behind the wheel,” said Bone. “Hopefully people will think twice and read the warning labels of their medicines carefully before choosing to take a trip out in their cars.”

HB3280 passed the House unanimously and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. Citizens can follow the bill online at


This week a number of bills designed to stop outside nuclear waste from ending up on Tennessee soil will begin making their way through the Tennessee Legislature’s committee process.

“It is unbelievable to hear that Tennessee is one of the only states willing to take other people’s nuclear waste and throw it in our back yard,” said Rep. Bone. “I would not want my neighbor dumping his garbage on my lawn, so thinking Tennesseans would want another country dumping their nuclear waster on our land is absurd.”

There are three bills expected to be taken up over the next few weeks dealing with outside radioactive waste. House Bill 2826 by Rep. Ty Cobb (D-Columbia) and Sen. Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga), House Bill 790 by Rep. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville) and Sen. Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis), and House Bill 3402 by Rep. Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) and Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden) all work to either limit or prohibit the dumping of outside radioactive waste in Tennessee.

“No other state in this country allows the storage of radioactive waste like what we are currently allowing here in Tennessee, and I think it’s time we stopped taking other peoples problems and making bigger problems for future generations,” said Bone.

The bills are expected to be taken up in subcommittees in both the House and Senate this week. To view committee hearings or to review the legislation, please visit and type in the bill number under FIND LEGISLATION.
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