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DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

An Arrest for Driving Under the Influence can have serious repercussions for your future. Contact us for a consultation so that we can start defending your rights immediately.

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a crime that has seen harsher penalties levied in recent years. While most commonly associated with alcohol, DUI charges cover more than that. According to state law in Tennessee, it is unlawful for any person to drive while –

  1. under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system, or

  2. the alcohol concentration in such a person’s blood or breath is eight-hundredths of one percent or more

If either of those criteria are met, DUI charges can be warranted. If you have been charged with a DUI, your potential punishment depends greatly on whether or not this would be your first offense if convicted.

Punishments

Punishments for Driving under the Influence have gotten increasingly tougher over the past few years, making the need for representation more critical than ever. 

  • First Offense

    • Up to 11 months and 29 days ​imprisonment;

    • Mandatory service of 48 hours in custody, modified to 7 days if blood tests indicate an alcohol level of over 0.20%

    • License revocation for one year, with the possibility of a restricted license in some cases

    • Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least one year

    • A fine of at least $350 along with a $100 special assessment

    • Requirement of an alcohol and drug assessment, litter pick up, and ankle monitoring in some cases

  • Second Offense

    • Up to 11 months, 29 days imprisonment

    • Mandatory 45 days in jail

    • License revocation for 2 years with possibility for restricted license in some cases

    • Installation of an Ignition interlock device for a minimum of one year

    • Fine of at least $600 along with a $100 special assessment

    • The court can order an alcohol and drug assessment, litter pick up, and ankle monitoring in some cases. 

    • The court may also order an alcohol treatment program in some cases. 

  • Third Offense:

    • Up to 11 months, 29 days imprisonment

    • Mandatory 120 days in jail

    • License Revocation for a minimum of 6 years; eligible for restricted license in some cases

    • Installation of ignition interlock device  for at least one year

    • Fine of at least $1,100 along with a  $100 special assessment

    • The court can order an alcohol and drug assessment, litter pick up, and ankle monitoring in some cases. 

    • The court may also order an alcohol treatment program in some cases. 

  • Fourth or Fifth Offense

    • Charged as a Class E Felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years imprisonment

    • Mandatory sentence of 150 days

    • License revocation for 8 years with possibility for restricted license in some cases

    • Installation of an Ignition interlock device for a minimum one year

    • Fine of at least $3,000 along with a $100 special assessment

    • The court can order an alcohol and drug assessment, litter pick up, and ankle monitoring in some cases. 

    • The court may also order an alcohol treatment program in some cases. 

  • Sixth or More Offense: ​

    • Charged as a Class C Felony, punishable by  3 to 6 years imprisonment

    • Mandatory sentence of 150 days

    • License revocation for 8 years, with th epossibility for a restricted license in some cases

    • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of a year.

    • Fine of at least $3,000 along with a $100 special assessment

    • The court can order an alcohol and drug assessment, litter pick up, and ankle monitoring in some cases. 

    • The court may also order an alcohol treatment program in some cases. 

Implied Consent Violation

Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-406, any person who drives a motor vehicle in Tennessee is “deemed to have given consent” to a blood-alcohol test.

 

Should a person refuse to take such a test when lawfully requested by a law enforcement officer, no test will be given, but the refusal can form the basis for an Implied Consent Violation.

 

Although not a criminal offense in most cases, the consequences of an Implied Consent Violation can be profound, resulting in license revocation based on any prior incidents. 

 

DUI Stops

While the legislature has worked to increase the punishments for driving under the influence in recent years, the Tennessee Court System has also recently addressed the legal rights of citizens who are stopped for suspicion of DUI. It is critical to seek out an attorney as soon as possible when facing these charges so that we can address if your rights were respected during the stop. 

Generally, citizens should be advised to be polite and compliant with officers requests, however to always exercise your rights against self incrimination when under suspicion of a DUI.