When restaurants were compelled to close their establishments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of states (including Tennessee) and cities change the rules to permit businesses to sell alcoholic beverages to-go or for delivery. This was done in order to help many restaurants continue to make money in the hopes of survival.

Some individuals in the state of Tennessee desire to make this temporary change a permanent one.

The push in Tennessee for permanent to-go drinks

One group in particular is requesting the current allowance of the sale of to-go alcoholic drinks to become permanent in Tennessee in order to continue helping restaurants recover from financial hardship. The social media campaign to change Tennessee law and make this a permanent feature offered by restaurants and other establishments was begun by an individual from Memphis. As of present, the campaign has gathered thousands of supporters.

However, the question must be asked as to the risks of such a permanent change in the law, considering the risks associated with alcohol consumption and driving.

Aren’t we asking for trouble?

Does this push to change the law account for the risks to human life posed by the mix of alcohol, particularly open containers and driving a motor vehicle? Can we safely assume that the additional freedom provided to take-out alcoholic beverages will not result in the consumption of those beverages by the driver in some cases and more instances of DUI?

According to the CDC’s assessment of impaired driving risk factors, at all blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a car accident is higher for younger individuals than older individuals.

For instance, according to statistics from 2016, among drivers having BAC levels of 0.08% or greater, 27% were in the 25 to 34 age bracket. Those in the 21 to 24 age bracket accounted for 26% and those in the 35 to 44 age bracket accounted for 22%.

On average, about 30 people lose their life in the U.S. each day due to the actions of an impaired drunk driver. There is a reason why driving with a BAC level of 0.08 is illegal. The presence of alcohol in the blood even at levels under 0.08 can have a significant impact on a person’s motor abilities, affecting muscle control, loss of judgment, poor coordination, slurred speech, and diminished perception.

Almost any level of alcohol in the person’s bloodstream can affect his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Drivers need to react quickly to sudden situations that occur on the road. Alcohol in any amount can significantly impair these abilities, putting others at risk.

In light of these facts, the risk of allowing the permanent option for restaurants to sell go-to alcoholic beverages seems like a risk too big to take.

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge in the state of Tennessee, you need strong legal advocacy to help you formulate a defense and obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Our Franklin DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates are here to help you fight for your rights and freedom. To arrange a consultation about your case, call us today at 615.977.9370 or fill out our contact form and send us a message. Our team is available represent those facing DUI charges in Brentwood, Franklin, and Columbia Tennessee.