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New Tennessee Laws for 2019

Posted by Mark W. Litchford | May 22, 2019 | 0 Comments


For those interested in updates to TN law, there were at least 30 new Tennessee State laws put into effect in January of 2019. These laws range in a variety of topics from immigration, abortion, alcohol and driving laws. In case some of you have noticed, the liquor law changed this year to allow grocery stores to sell liquor on Sundays. Who remembers the years of no alcohol sold in Tennessee grocery stores? Times have certainly changed. While Tennessee residents continue to be unable to buy alcohol in groceries on Easter and Christmas they can indeed purchase alcohol on Labor Day, Fourth of July, and New Years Day.  It is still, of course, illegal to drink alcohol above the legal limit and anyone who purchases alcohol must be at least 21 years of age. In the days of Uber, Lyft and other ride share alternatives it never makes sense to get behind the wheel while drinking and driving.  Of course, should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of receiving a DUI, the attorneys of Litchford, Pearce & Associates, PLLC, can certainly provide legal advice needed in Tennessee and Georgia.  Below are just some of the new laws enacted for 2019:

Motor Vehicles

As enacted, increases, from $400 to $1,500, the minimum property damage threshold for which a motor vehicle accident requires a written report to be filed with the department of safety, except in cases of damage to state or local government property; increases, from $500 to $1,500, the property damage threshold differentiating a Class B misdemeanor from a Class A misdemeanor for the offense of leaving the scene of an accident. - Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 10 and Title 55, Chapter 12.

Tennessee Department of Safety

As enacted, permits the department to toll the mandatory 365 consecutive day period during which certain motor vehicles are required to be equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device if the motor vehicle is inoperable based on specified reasons. - Amends TCA Section 55-10-419(g) and Section 55-10-425.

Election Laws

As enacted, reduces from 90 days to 60 days the period before a qualifying deadline for elective office during which nominating petitions may be issued by an administrator, deputy, county election commissioner, or employee of the coordinator's office, other than nominating petitions for the offices of the President of the United States and delegates to the national conventions of all statewide political parties. - Amends TCA Section 2-5-102.

Alcoholic Beverages

As enacted, authorizes the sale of alcoholic beverages and wine on Sundays during certain hours; prohibits sales on Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving; revises other provisions relating to alcoholic beverages. - Amends TCA Title 57, Chapter 3; Title 57, Chapter 4 and Title 57, Chapter 5.


As enacted, prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary policies; enacts other related provisions. 


As enacted, requires, in cases where an ultrasound is performed as part of an examination prior to an abortion, the person who performs the ultrasound to offer the woman the opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound; requires, if ultrasound is performed, that report of abortion indicate whether or not a heartbeat was detected. 

Handgun Permits

As enacted, exempts from the firing range and classroom hours requirements to obtain a handgun carry permit anyone who in the five years preceding the date of application has successfully completed a department of correction firearms qualification.


As enacted, requires compliance with certain requirements by a person practicing ultrasound sonography in a nonclinical 3D/4D ultrasound boutique setting.


About the Author

Mark W. Litchford

Mark is a founding member of Litchford, Pearce & Associates, PLLC, and licensed to practice in Tennessee, Georgia, the Federal Eastern District Court of Tennessee, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Mark concentrates his practice in government law, commercial litigation, estate planning, real property, personal injury, and business transactions. Mark is recognized as a multi-nominated Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers, and is a member of the executive board for the Chattanooga Bar Association.


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