What Happens if I’m Charged With a DUI in Tennessee?
Tennessee DUI Law Explained
Drinking and then driving, often referred to as driving under the influence, or DUI is illegal in Tennessee.
If you are found to be doing this, you are not only putting your life at risk, as well as those around you, but you are also risking penalties that vary from:
- Jail time
- Large fines
- And the removal of driver’s license
Tennessee DUI laws do have some different components which include looking at the concentration of alcohol in your blood, and when you are over the BAC limit (blood alcohol concentration), then you will face a penalty. Implied consent alcohol testing could also be required.
If you are to refuse to have a blood alcohol test, when stopped and required to do so by a police officer, then it can result in having your driver’s license taken away for one year. Also, if you do this again when you have your license back, then it can be revoked for two tears.
In addition, if there is an injury, no matter when the test is refused, you can have your license revoked for two years. If you were to kill someone as a result of a DUI and you refuse a blood alcohol test, then your license is taken away for five years.
If you were to go to court over this incident and refused to have the test, then the police officer involved can testify to other factors that show that you were intoxicated, such as:
- How you were acting
- Physical signs like slurred speech
- Or alcohol smell on your breath
By refusing to have a blood alcohol test you will not be helping yourself to avoid any consequences. The way to protect yourself from any kind of penalty when driving is to drive safely and not drink and drive.
What Are the Consequences for First-Time DUI Offenders in TN?
If you are caught drinking under the influence in Tennessee, then you need to remember that under Tennessee DUI law, there is mandatory jail time for any first-time offenders. The minimum you will face is 48-hours in jail, however, this depends on what your blood alcohol test states. If the results are high, then you could face a minimum of seven days in jail.
As a first-time DUI offender, you could:
- Receive up to nearly 12-months in jail
- Face a fine of up to $1500
- Have your license revoked (especially if there is harm to someone else as a result of your offense)
Attending an alcohol and drug treatment program will also be required in Tennessee, which is why hiring a DUI attorney can be helpful, in order to plead your case for you.
How Are Tennessee DUI Penalties Determined?
There are a number of things that can change the kind of penalty that you will face. For example, DUI with a child under 18 in the car with you can lead to larger penalties, and not only that but if you have caused harm to another person, the judge can order you to pay restitution.
As there are a number of fees and forms that are associated with a DUI charge, having an attorney that knows this area completely, knows what to do and how to reduce these for you, where possible, will be helpful in making this all to be as uncomplicated as possible for you.
Ignition Interlock Device
Another element of penalties to think about if you are facing a first-time DUI charge is the judge over the case could order you to have an Ignition Interlock Device or IID. This is something that is installed at your expense and means you have to breathe into it to check that you are sober before the car will be able to start.
You could have to do this for six months, even after jail time and getting your license back. This is something that would be worth speaking to an attorney about. If you are facing a driving under the influence charge in Tennessee, then reaching out and speaking to a Tennessee attorney who has experience with this, will be very helpful.
Joshua T. Crain - Attorney at Law Is Here to Help
An attorney with experience in DUI charges will be able to talk you through your options, with the goal of reducing the jail time to the minimum and reducing fines to the minimum too. With some legal help on your side, you could get back to driving sooner than you think, especially if you don’t have to have your license revoked.
Have additional questions regarding Tennesse DUI law and the penalties? Reach out to Joshua T. Crain today to see how we can help you. Give us a call at (615) 848-2088 or fill out our online contact form.