The numbers are in and they're staggering
A study of drunk driving, fatal accidents, and car insurance has landed Knoxville in the top 10 for bad drivers.
But leaders with Knoxville Police say the numbers don't add up.
Public Information Officer Darrell DeBusk says Knoxville Police take DUI offenses seriously and have the arrests to back it up.
Officers arrested more than 3,500 people between 2010 and 2012.
They arrested 1,210 in 2010, 1,132 in 2011 and 1,318 in 2012 - that's more than 100 arrests a month in 2012.
DeBusk doesn't agree with the numbers, but says factors like being a college town means more people will be drinking. He says it's also important for people to know stopping drunk drivers isn't just law enforcement's job, but that of society - designating a driver, knowing when to call a cab, and bartenders cutting people off who've had too much to drink.
Knoxville Attorney Steven Oberman specializes in DUI and says there is a legal reason Knoxville stands out.
"The prosecution in Tennessee and East Tennessee in general has been very strong in favor of the prosecution. In other words, there are no legal defenses or ability to get DUI of your record as there are in other states. For instance, in some states you can be placed on what's called a diversion or deferral so that after a period of time the DUI conviction would come off your record. That's not the case in Tennessee. Tennessee is known across the country as one of the toughest states for DUI enforcement."
In their study, NerdWallet ranked Knoxville 6th worst in the country for fatal accidents involving alcohol per 1,000 residents. The study uses data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pointing to 31 alcohol related crashes between 2010 and 2012. That's three times the national average.
In their study NerdWallet also showed insurance premiums increase an average of 50% after a person is convicted of DUI in Knoxville.