Drunk driving puts every other driver and pedestrian out on the roadways directly in harm's way. This is why law enforcement in Tennessee will be conducting increased enforcement to get drunk drivers off of the roadways for the four days leading up to New Year's Day. For while most equate partying with New Year's Eve, the truth is that many also go out drinking the days and evenings leading up to the actual holiday.
Last year, five people were killed in Tennessee in motor vehicle accidents during the New Year's Eve holiday. The hope is this increased enforcement will not only deter people from drinking and driving -- out of fear of getting arrested for driving under the influence -- but will also get those drivers who decide to drink and then drive off of the roads before they cause an accident.
In Tennessee there is also a "no refusal" law. This means that even if a driver refuses to take a blood alcohol test, law enforcement can obtain a search warrant in order to take a blood sample. This law is rather new in the state as it went into effect in 2012. Before this, a driver could refuse a blood test and lose their driver's license for one year. Refusing the test meant it was not known how much alcohol was in their system at the time.
However, legal consequences aside, drunk drivers also face civil consequences if their negligent decision to drive after drinking leads to a motor vehicle accident, as those who are injured -- or the family of those killed -- can attempt to hold them accountable through a lawsuit.