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Tennessee Prevention of Drunk Driving Act approved

Legislation that aims to curb drunk driving in Tennessee now heads to the governor’s desk to become law.  

The Tennessee Prevention of Drunk Driving Act, sponsored by State Rep. Ron Gant, R-Piperton, creates a 12-member advisory task force to review impaired driving and boating statewide and offer solutions.  The Impaired Driving Advisory Council would also be required to submit all of its reports, strategic plans and recommendations annually to the General Assembly.

“Law enforcement across the state are doing everything they can, but they need help in solving this problem,” Gant said Tuesday.

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House Bill 2845 also requires law enforcement officers investigating fatal wrecks involving a suspected drunk driver to determine if they were served alcohol at a licensed establishment. The findings must be reported to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) within 48 hours.

Additionally, server permits issued after Jan. 1, 2025 must be renewed every two years instead of every five years. The change will ensure applicants complete a certified alcohol awareness program more regularly.

The ABC will also be required to regularly report to the legislature ways to prevent underage drinking, drunk driving and other harmful uses of alcohol in Tennessee.

There were 6,135 wrecks statewide that involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2022, according to the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. There were 324 fatalities and more than 3,700 injuries as a result.

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