Over the last several decades a concerted effort has been made by both governmental agencies and private advocacy groups to raise public awareness regarding the dangers of drinking and driving. As part of those efforts, most states, including the State of Tennessee, have strengthened their drinking and driving laws as well as increased the penalties for a conviction of those laws. If you have been arrested and charged with drinking and driving, you need to know the penalties for driving under the influence in Tennessee.
In the State of Tennessee, as is the case in most states, the potential penalties you face for a conviction of an alcohol related driving offense will depend on several factors. One of the most important factors is whether or not you have been convicted of the same, or similar, offense in the past. The following is a summary of potential penalties for some of the most common driving under the influence, or DUI, charges in Tennessee; however, because of the numerous variables that can impact the penalties you face it is always in your best interest to consult with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney to ensure that you know precisely what penalties you face given the facts and circumstances of your specific case.
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- First DUI conviction — 2 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500 plus a one year license revocation and court ordered drug and alcohol treatment program. If your BAC is 0.20 or higher, mandatory 7 consecutive days in jail.
- Second DUI conviction – 45 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a mandatory fine of up to $3500 plus a two year license revocation, drug and alcohol treatment program and vehicle seizure/forfeiture.
- Third DUI conviction – 120 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a mandatory fine of up to $10,000 plus a license revocation of 6-10 years, drug and alcohol treatment program and vehicle seizure/forfeiture.
- Fourth and subsequent DUI conviction – minimum of 150 consecutive days and up to one year in jail and/or a mandatory fine of up to $15,000 plus an 8 year license revocation, drug and alcohol treatment program and vehicle seizure/forfeiture.
- DUI by a minor – for the 1st offense, license suspension for one year or until the offender turns 17, whichever is longer. For a 2nd conviction, a license suspension of two years or until the offender turns 18 years old.
Along with the above referenced judicially ordered penalties, a number of non-judicial penalties may apply if you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, including the loss of a current job, lost job prospects in the future, professional license disciplinary action, and increased insurance rates for several years.
If you are facing DUI charges in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby to discuss any defenses that might be available to you. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.