Monday, June 29, 2015

New Report Finds Parents in the Dark about their Teens' Driving Habits

A report from The Allstate Foundation finds many parents are largely unaware that their teens are speeding, driving while distracted, and even driving under the influence. Making matters worse, teens may be picking up these same behaviors from their parents.

Read more at: 

Friday, June 26, 2015

New law Webinar available

A number of new laws are effective July 1, 2015 effecting traffic safety. A recording of our webinar concerning those laws is now available on our website at

On the right side of the website under the Current News section, click on the link that says "New Laws of 2015". The webinar is about 30 minutes long. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crossville woman faces eleventh DUI charge after crash

It shocks me that a Knoxville attorney would look at this case and make a completely incorrect statement about how we count prior offenses in Tennessee. Our law establishes a 10 year look back period to see if there is a prior arrest and conviction in the last ten years. If the answer to that is yes, we look back 10 more, but never more than 20.

Crossville woman faces eleventh DUI charge after crash

This does not come through in this article. Of course, the attorney may have had only part of her description included in the article. I hope that is what happened.

Here is the law at 55-10-405:

(a) For the sole purpose of enhancing the punishment for a violation a person who is convicted of a violation of § 55-10-401
shall not be considered a repeat or multiple offender and subject to
the penalties prescribed in this part if ten (10) or more years have
elapsed between the date of the present violation and the date of any
immediately preceding violation of § 55-10-401 that resulted in a conviction for such offense. If, however, the date of a person's violation of § 55-10-401
is within ten (10) years of the date of the present violation, then the
person shall be considered a multiple offender and is subject to the
penalties imposed upon multiple offenders by this part. If a person is
considered a multiple offender under this part, then every violation of § 55-10-401
that resulted in a conviction for such offense occurring within ten
(10) years of the date of the immediately preceding violation shall be
considered in determining the number of prior offenses. However, a
violation occurring more than twenty (20) years from the date of the
instant violation shall never be considered a prior offense for that

Thursday, June 11, 2015

8 year sentence for 18th DUI!

Charles R Zemp had 17 previous DUI convictions, including five felony convictions when he was arrested in Knox County in May, 2014. He had also been convicted as a habitual traffic offender felon six times. When convicted he received a sentence of four years for his DUI and four years for his habitual motor vehicle offender crime. The two sentences were ordered to run consecutively for an 8 year sentence.
His public defender argued the sentences were too great. He argued Zemp was "a very careful drunk driver". 
At his appeal the Defendant argued that his record of criminal activity was not actually extensive because it consisted almost entirely of motor vehicle offenses.

Here is the problem we face with recidivism in Tennessee. Defendants (and defense attorneys) seem to think their dangerous behavior is not criminal and that they should not be punished.

We will watch this case for further developments. Let's hope the Department of Corrections holds onto this guy for a while.