HEY JUDGE, I heard that Tennessee lets drivers hit protesters blocking the road with their car. Is this true? Can I go run some hippies over?
Ok, so last week the Tennessee General Assembly started work on a bill that, according to sone sources, will allow drivers to hit protesters who are blocking a roadway. Before you put a spiffy new steel bumper with spikes on your E4-mobile and submit a DA31 to go on a “fishing trip” to Nashville, there’s some things you need to know.
So this bill: all it does is provide for civil immunity for drivers who hit a protester on a public road, so long as the driver is exercising “due care.” For you crayon-eaters, that means you can’t be sued for hitting a protester so long as you were driving like a normal person and not like a Somali cab driver on his 5th hit of khat.
You can’t purposely hit anyone. What the bill does is make sure that if a protester manages to get in front of you while you’re driving safely and legally, you aren’t liable for any injuries or damage. That’s it. If you purposely hit someone, you’re an asshole and you deserve to go to jail.
Because here’s the other part, this law does not provide relief from criminal liability. Which means that if you manage to commit a crime while hitting a protester (like aggravated assault, DUI, or vehicular manslaughter) your ass is grass. This is true even if you were driving with “due care.” Don’t message me for help in that situation. And don’t bother coming to TDS (unless you want to hang out in a waiting room that smells like body glitter, gin, and bad decisions…in that case, walk ins are Tuesday mornings).
Oh, and be ready for your insurance to get jacked up too. You think Geico gives a shit if it was legal. No, dude. You hit a person.
To add a little more, even if you were in the right, this doesn’t mean your chain of command can’t (and won’t) fuck you up. The fact that someone can’t sue you in Tennessee doesn’t mean your commander won’t take a stripe. The Army don’t give a shit and we don’t need Soldiers running people over. That happens enough over in 3CR.
So, no, you can’t go over to Tennessee and start running over hippies demanding free-trade, organic quinoa fiber thongs (or anything else). Disappointing, we know. But hey, at least this weekend is a four day amirite?