A number of new laws raise the bar on the penalties imposed on persons caught or convicted of driving while under the influence in Tennessee.
The laws went into effect on January 1.
Now it is no longer just drinking alcohol or smoking pot and then driving which can result in a charge and conviction for impaired driving.
Persons driving while under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, "controlled substance, drug, substance affecting the central nervous system or combination thereof that impairs to any extent the driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and control of himself which he would otherwise possess" can face DUI consequences.
Another new law also requires certain DUI offenders to operate only a motor vehicle that is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device.
Convicted DUI offenders who had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle in order to have a restricted driver's license. The interlocks require the driver to blow into a device to detect any alcohol use. If it detects alcohol the engine will not start.
A third new law related to DUI/DWI offenses now makes it tougher for persons to get out on bond after they are arrested. If a defendant has one or more prior convictions of DUI, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide due to intoxication, then the defendant may not be released from jail on a bail bond unless a court first determines that the defendant is not a danger to the community.
Following is a list of the Public Chapters (laws) which went into effect as of Jan. 1, 2011:
1015 HB3280: DUI/DWI OFFENSES - As enacted, revises the substances that give rise to a DUI, so that it is unlawful to operate or be in control of a motor driven vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, drug, substance affecting the central nervous system or combination thereof that impairs the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and control of himself which he would otherwise possess. - Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 10.
921 SB2965: DUI/DWI OFFENSES - As enacted, requires certain DUI offenders to operate only a motor vehicle that is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device. - Amends TCA Title 7; Title 29; Title 37; Title 38; Title 39; Title 40; Title 41; Title 49; Title 55; Title 68 and Title 71.
1096 HB3282: DUI/DWI OFFENSES - As enacted, revises provisions governing which court will make determination of violation of implied consent law; revises other provisions governing implied consent law. - Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 10.
867 HB3281: BAIL, BAIL BONDS - As enacted, allows a court, when setting bail for a defendant arrested for certain alcohol related offenses and such defendant has prior convictions for certain alcohol related offenses or is currently already released on bail for certain alcohol related offenses, to order monitoring devices or in-patient treatment as a condition of release and requires the court to determine whether the defendant is a danger to the community prior to release. - Amends TCA Title 40.
1112 HB0670: IMMIGRANTS - As enacted, requires POST commission to develop a standardized written procedure for verifying citizenship status of persons arrested, booked, or confined in a county or municipal jail or detention facility; requires the keeper of a jail to use such procedure and report those persons who are determined to be in the country illegally to the appropriate federal officials. - Amends TCA Title 40.
1124 SB3219: CRIMINAL OFFENSES - As enacted, deletes the requirement that a person being photographed must be readily identifiable in order for the offense of unlawful photographing to be committed; redefines "penal institution" for purposes of the provisions regarding obstruction of justice. - Amends TCA Title 39.
684 SB2501: CONSUMER PROTECTION - As enacted, creates Class A misdemeanor, punishable by fine only, of intentionally concealing or misrepresenting the telephone number utilized by ADAD equipment; provides certain exceptions. - Amends TCA Title 47, Chapter 18, Part 15.
776 SB3087: TENNCARE - As enacted, revises provisions governing state's subrogation interests. - Amends TCA Title 71, Chapter 5, Part 1.
792 SB3162: WORKERS COMPENSATION - As enacted, revises provisions governing rental and assignment of network rights to expand the information required to be included in an explanation of benefits sent to medical provider and gives the provisions the short title the "Rental and Assignment of PPO Network Rights". - Amends TCA Title 50, Chapter 6, Part 2.
795 SB1790: PHARMACY, PHARMACISTS - As enacted, requires that all written, printed, or computer-generated orders for a Schedule II controlled substance prepared by a podiatrist, dentist, physician, surgeon, optometrist, osteopathic physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant be written legibly, printed, or computer-generated as a separate prescription order; requires on handwritten prescriptions that quantity be written in letters or numbers instead of both letters and numbers. - Amends TCA Title 63.
811 HB2634: PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS - As enacted, limits amount of on-line courses dental hygienists may use to meet biennial continuing education requirement to 50 percent. - Amends TCA Section 63-5-107.
817 SB0444: GUARDIANSHIP - As enacted, enacts the "Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act." - Amends TCA Title 34 and Title 71.
850 SB3019: SAFETY - As enacted, enacts "Katie Beth's Law," which requires pool alarms in certain circumstances. - Amends TCA Title 47 and Title 68, Chapter 14.
950 HB1242: CONTRACTORS - As enacted, requires masonry contractors to be licensed under the present law provisions governing contractors, if the total cost of the masonry portion of a construction project exceeds $100,000, materials and labor. - Amends TCA Title 62, Chapter 6.
978 SB3164: INSURANCE, HEALTH, ACCIDENT - As enacted, requires insurers offering Medicare supplement policies and certificates in this state to persons 65 years of age or older to also offer Medicare supplement policies to persons in this state who are under 65 years of age and eligible for and enrolled in Medicare by reason of disability or end stage renal disease. - Amends TCA Title 56.
980 SB3806: INSURANCE, HEALTH, ACCIDENT - As enacted, enacts the "Tennessee Health Carrier Grievance and External Review Procedure Act." - Amends TCA Title 56.
1037 SB3907: TRAFFIC SAFETY - As enacted, clarifies and adds to types of information that must be included in traffic citations and abstracts of court records pertaining to traffic violations; requires persons holding commercial driver licenses to have a medical card or provide evidence of exemption beginning January 1, 2011, makes other changes concerning motor vehicles. -Amends TCA Title 55.
1042 HB3789: UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION - As enacted, removes provisions regarding board of review and revises procedures governing review of claims. - Amends TCA Section 50-7-304; Section 50-7-601; Section 50-7-701; Section 50-7-702; Section 50-7-703 and Section 50-7-708.
1051 HB2474: EDUCATION - As enacted, requires the state board of education, THEC, TBR, and the UT board of trustees to provide video streaming over the Internet of the board meetings of each entity. - Amends TCA Title 49.