When it comes to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and every other city in the state of Tennessee have the same laws and being convicted of DUI is a very serious crime. In addition to having the same laws, all areas of Tennessee will follow the same penalties and fines for those who are convicted. With so much on the line for a DUI conviction, it is important for individuals to begin fighting their DUI charges as soon as possible, and DUIRights.com can help.
What Penalties Will I Face for DUI in the State of Tennessee?
Those who are convicted of DUI will face a number of different penalties, even if this incident is their first TN DUI offense. Those who are pulled over and have a Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, or above 0.08 percent will be subject to jail time, fines, penalties, and a license suspension. Additionally, the number of previous offenses the individual has will increase the severity of these penalties. Penalties for first time offenders include:
- Jail Time Between 48 Hours and 11 Months
- Fines and Penalties Between $350 and $1,500
- License Suspension of 1 Year
- Having to Use an IID (Ignition Interlock Device)
Learn More: First DUI Offense in Tennessee
Learn More: Second DUI Offense in Tennessee
What Are My DUI Rights?
Having the legal help of a knowledgeable DUI attorney is very important to fighting your DUI charges. Tennessee law does allow individuals who are charged with DUI to arrange a plea bargain for a lesser charge, which is general “wet reckless.” While wet reckless is still a serious crime, it carries less weight than a DUI conviction and the help of a lawyer is usually needed to make this arrangement. When reviewing an individual’s DUI charge, the lawyer will want to know many details of the case, including:
- Did the arresting officer witness the client driving the vehicle or was the vehicle not in operation at the time?
- What was the arresting officer’s reason for pulling the client over and placing him or her under arrest?
- Was a Breathalyzer test administered? In what time-frame did the arresting officer administer this test?
- Were the arresting officer’s observations consistent with other eyewitnesses who observed the client’s behavior?
- Did the arresting officer administer a field sobriety test? Was the outcome of this test affected by any outside conditions, such as weather or time of day?
Protect your rights and learn how to get your Tennessee DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
DUI Laws in Tennessee
Over the years, Tennessee has improved its DUI laws to become one of the strictest states in the country in terms of penalties and fines. Two things are certain if you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee: you will go to jail and you will have substantial fines to pay.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
In Tennessee, if you refuse to take chemical tests during a DUI arrest, your license will be revoked. Unlike a suspension, you have to go through the entire process of securing a license again once the revocation period has expired:
- First offense – 1-year license revocation
- Second offense – 2-year license revocation
- Third offense – 2-year license revocation
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Tennessee currently uses the standard blood alcohol content (BAC) levels to establish a DUI:
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial Drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Tennessee?
Tennessee does have flexible sentencing for DUI convictions with maximum sentence being up to one year for repeat offenders (other than 4th time offenders, which may serve up to 6 years in jail):
- First offense – jail sentence ranging from 48 hours to 11 months
- Second offense – jail sentence ranging from 45 days to one year
- Third offense – jail sentence ranging from 120 days to one year
The lookback period in Tennessee is 10 years.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Tennessee
Tennessee monetary fines are also flexible, but also escalate rather quickly on the high end of the scale:
- First offense – fine will range from $350 to $1,500
- Second offense – fine will range from $600 to $3,500
- Third offense – fine will range from $1,100 to $10,000
License Suspension for DUI in Tennessee
Anyone convicted of a DUI in Tennessee will have his or her license suspended, with 4th time violators facing an indefinite suspension:
- First offense – one year mandatory suspension
- Second offense – two year mandatory suspension
- Third offense – suspension ranging from three to ten years
In the state of Tennessee, all convicted DUI offenders are required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on their automobile.
Learn More: Administrative License Review in Tennessee
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Tennessee
As you can see, Tennessee does not take the crime of DUI lightly. If you are arrested and charged, you face significant jail time and very large monetary fines. Because Tennessee currently allows a plea of wet reckless for some first time offenders, you should consult with an attorney to fight the charges or plead it down. You can have your case evaluated free of charge here at DUIRights.com as well as being able to find local attorneys to help you with your case.