In addition to the stiffer punishments enacted by the Tennessee legislature for repeat DUI offenses in 2019, an online registry may be the next penalty enhancement. As reported by 1057 News, repeat DUI offenders may find themselves on a publicly accessible website hosted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Senate Bill 1726 would require posting repeat-DUI offender details in an online registry. If enacted into law, the bill will require posting a booking mugshot online beginning with a driver’s second DUI conviction.
Repeat DUI offender details may be viewable for at least two years
The posting on the TBI’s website would remain accessible to the public for two years beginning within 60 days after a prosecutor obtains a second DUI conviction. Identifying information would accompany the individual’s second-conviction booking picture, but driver’s license, Social Security or federal ID numbers would not appear.
If no additional DUI convictions occur within the two-year posting time-frame, the TBI will remove the driver’s information and picture from the registry. An additional offense during the two-year time frame, however, will extend the posting time by five years from the time of the third conviction.
2019’s House Bill 167 increased jail time for repeat offenders
Passed into law in 2019, House Bill 167 was an opening shot in the Volunteer State’s tougher approach to habitual DUI offenders. As reported by Fox 17 News, repeated DUI offenses may now require convicted individuals to serve out more of their jail sentences rather than obtain an early release. An individual may serve a 15-year jail sentence in full if he or she has multiple DUI convictions. Prior to House Bill 167, most drivers would serve about half of a six-year sentence.
Facing a DUI charge may bring serious consequences, whether accused of a repeat offense or a first-time mistake. In 2019, Tennessee prosecuted more than 8,000 DUI cases, and it appears that S.B. 1726’s TBI registry is the nest step in the state’s tougher stance on impaired driving.