Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Nashville Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Protecting victims of drunk drivers in Nashville, Hendersonville, Clarksville, and across middle Tennessee

There isn’t a driver in Tennessee who doesn’t know that driving drunk is against the law – and yet thousands of them continue to do it year after year. One way to make an impression on drunk drivers is to hold them criminally accountable. A second way, our way, is to make drunk drivers civilly accountable by making them pay for your injuries or the death of a loved one. The consequences of drunk driving are often catastrophic. Many victims and families are never the same after a Nashville drunk driving accident. Drunk drivers should pay for these devastating outcomes.

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions. Our skilled auto accident attorneys in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville have successfully represented clients throughout Tennessee when a drunk or otherwise impaired driver caused a crash that led to an injury. When someone else’s negligence harms you, you want a team of fighters on your side. Let Rocky McElhaney Law Firm be the firm that fights for you.

"When I was a teenager, Dad got hurt. Insurance company wouldn't pay. We lost our house. But, Dad got a lawyer and we got justice. That's the moment I decided to become an attorney. As a lawyer, I have dedicated my life to helping injury victims."

~ Rocky

How do you know if you’re too impaired to drive?

According to American Addiction Centers, a person’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level is determined by how much alcohol is consumed, the drinker’s weight, gender, genetics, and pattern of drinking. A lot of people believe – wrongly, as it stands – that one or two drinks won’t hurt them or anyone else while they’re on the road.

The truth is, even with a blood alcohol concentration of .02%, you are already impaired. By the time a driver reaches a .08% BAC, there is a definite decline in motor control, judgment, short-term memory, and the ability to detect and avoid danger. This is why drunk drivers can easily miss road signs or street signs; weave in and out of traffic; drift to the side of the road; or fail to hit their brakes to avoid hitting another car or truck.

How much havoc do drunk drivers cause on Nashville roads?

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security provided the following Driving Under the Influence (DUI) data for 7/1/2021 through 6/30/2022:

  • 1 in 3 fatal crashes involved a DUI.
  • 1 in 7 serious crashes involved a DUI.
  • There were close to 5,000 DUI crashes in urban areas.
  • There were close to 2,800 DUI crashes in rural areas.

Nearly 40 percent of all DUI crashes involved drivers between the ages of 20-34.

What are the drunk driving laws in Tennessee?

Tennessee, like all states, has laws that regulate drunk driving. Tennessee makes it illegal to operate a vehicle:

  • “Under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, drug, substance affecting the central nervous system, or a combination thereof that impairs the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and control of oneself that the driver would otherwise possess.”
  • With a BAC level of .08 or higher.
  • With a BAC level of .04 or higher if the driver is a commercial driver.

There is zero tolerance for drivers under 21 to have any alcohol in their system. Our lawyers work with local law enforcement to prove that a driver was intoxicated at the time of the auto crash. When necessary, we also conduct our own investigation.

What is dram shop liability?

In Tennessee, any vendor that sells liquor to a minor—someone under age 21—or to a person who is visibly intoxicated can be held responsible for injuries or deaths caused to anyone other than the drinker. Unlike other states, which only require that there be a preponderance of the evidence that the tavern or vendor reasonably knew the drunk driver had too much to drink already – Tennessee requires that the vendor should have known of the driver’s intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt.

This Tennessee vendor liability law, called a dram shop law, does not apply to social hosts.

What injuries are caused by drunk drivers in Nashville?

Car and truck drivers can anticipate a lot of dangers – the car that suddenly brakes in front of them, the deer that runs out in the road, the motorcycle rider who drives between lanes – but it’s hard to anticipate just what a drunk driver will do. For this reason, people injured in car wrecks often have no ability to take defensive maneuvers. As a result, a crash with a drunk driver can leave you with serious, long-term injuries, such as:

Under the most tragic of circumstances, a drunk driver can cause the wrongful death of your loved one. If that worst comes to pass, you need an experienced Nashville auto accident lawyer on your side to help you recover compensation to pay your medical bills, take care of day-to-day expenses, and to protect your family in the future.

Who is liable for a drunk driving accident?

Drunk drivers are liable for the accidents they cause. We demand they pay for the medical bills; lost wages; pain and suffering; scarring and disfigurement; loss of life’s pleasures; property damage; and other damages they cause. When a beloved family member tragically dies, we file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of the families of the deceased.

In addition, we often demand that the drunk driver pay punitive damages. There is simply no excuse for a driver getting behind the wheel of a car when they are intoxicated. If a vehicle owner lets another driver use the vehicle knowing that person was intoxicated—or having reason to believe they are drunk—the owner (if different from the driver) can also be found liable for any fatalities or injuries.

Other defendants may also be liable, such as a tavern that sells alcohol or a trucking company that hires a truck driver who drives while intoxicated.

Why is driving while under the influence of drugs so dangerous?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that drug prevalence is on the rise among drivers. “An NHTSA 2020 study of seriously or fatally injured road users at studied trauma centers suggested that the overall prevalence of alcohol, cannabinoids and opioids increased during the public health emergency compared to before.”

The following substances can impair a driver’s ability to control their vehicle:

  • Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs are dangerous because they impair the driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
  • Cocaine and methamphetamine make drivers take risks and drive aggressively.
  • Combining drugs or drugs and alcohol increases the impairing effects on the driver.
  • “Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects.” Drivers should know that reactions are likely after taking any prescription medications.

Being hit by an intoxicated or otherwise impaired driver can have life-long repercussions. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Nashville personal injury attorneys understand the serious challenges you face after such an accident. We will fight hard to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected after a collision.

Do you have a distracted driver lawyer near me?

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm meets with clients and families at our East Nashville office located at 615 Main St. M2, Nashville, TN. We have a second Nashville office located at 545 Mainstream Dr., #105. Our lawyers also meet clients in:

  • Hendersonville: 475 Saundersville Rd.
  • Clarksville: 2197 Madison Street, Suite 103

Our attorneys meet with clients who are immobile, or have difficulty coming to our office, at their homes and other convenient locations. We guide you through each phase of the civil claims process and coordinate your case with any criminal DUI charges.

Injured in a crash by a drunk driver in Tennessee? Call Rocky for help.

Dealing with the aftereffects of a drunk driving crash is hard; choosing the right lawyer to fight for you shouldn’t be. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we fight for justice and for fair compensation for auto accident victims in Nashville, Hendersonville, Clarksville, and throughout middle Tennessee. Call Rocky at 615-425-2500 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Nashville drunk driving accident attorney today.