The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee has now approved legislation known as Dustin Ledford’s Law. This would increase penalties for all multiple offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) offenders to Class E felonies with a minimum sentence of 11 months, and 29 days.
Under current law, persons convicted of a second DUI offense must be sentenced to no less than 45 consecutive days nor more than 11 months 29 days; third offenses result in a sentence of no less than 120 consecutive days nor more than 11 months 29 days; fourth and fifth offenses are Class E felonies, resulting in sentences no less than 150 consecutive days nor more than the maximum punishment for Class E felonies (1-6 years imprisonment, depending on other factors). A sixth and subsequent offense is a Class C felony that has a sentence of no less than 150 consecutive days nor more than the maximum punishment for Class E felonies (3-15 years imprisonment, depending on other factors).
All DUI offenders face very high fines (up to $15,000) and loss of driver’s license. Some are even required to have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle as a condition of driving–even after the driver’s license revocation period. Multiple offenders, including felony offenders, are also subject to the forfeiture of his or her vehicle, court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment, and other penalties.
The legislation is named after Dustin Ledford, a 24 year man of Cleveland, Tennessee, who tragically lost his life in 2010 to a car accident caused by a multiple DUI offender. This bill still has a long way to go before becoming law, but you may rest assured the lawyers at the law firm of Oberman & Rice are watching it carefully.
About the Author: Steven Oberman has been licensed in Tennessee since 1980, and successfully defended over 2,500 DUI defendants. Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) and currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee. Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be Board Certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the NCDD.
He is the author of DUI: The Crime & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 8thedition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen). Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions. He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 30 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries. In 2019, he taught at the University of Latvia Law School as a Fulbright Scholar.
If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.tndui.com