In Tennessee, drivers arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could face severe penalties. State laws require minimum jail time for DUI offenders, including those with a first offense. Anyone found guilty of driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration, BAC, of .08 or more is considered impaired and could be arrested for DUI.
Drivers may be pulled over for swerving, committing traffic violations, speeding, or could be tested after the driver was involved in a crash. Officers may ask for a field sobriety test or might measure the driver’s BAC through a breath or blood test. Any of this evidence can be used against you in court. If you were arrested for DUI, it is important that you understand the consequences you could face if convicted.
For the first DUI offense, individuals will be required to spend a minimum of 48 hours in jail. However, if the driver’s BAC was over .20 the minimum will be raised to 7 days in jail. In addition to mandatory jail time, the convicted driver might also face up to $1,500 in fines. In most circumstances, the driver will also have his or her driver’s license revoked for up to 1 year and will be required to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program. However, if the DUI involved a damaging crash, injured anyone, or the driver’s BAC was considered extremely high, these penalties may increase.
A second DUI offense will find the driver responsible for a minimum of 45 days in jail. However, this could increase to 11 months and 29 days in certain circumstances. Additionally, the driver will be charged with a mandatory fine between $1,100 and $10,000, and court-ordered alcohol and drug programs. The court is also likely to revoke the driver’s license for up to 2 years after the second DUI offense, though even when the driver’s license is restored the driver will be restricted and the vehicle may be outfitted with an interlock device.
Driving restrictions typically limit the driver to certain destinations, like work, school, and any court-ordered programs. It is also important to note that from the second DUI offense onward, the court has the authority to confiscate the driver’s vehicle.
The third DUI offenders will be required to spend a minimum of 120 days in jail, with a maximum jail sentence of just under 1 year. Those found guilty will also be fined between $1,100 and $10,000 dollars, though the penalties that affect the offender’s ability to drive are much more substantial. The driver may have his or her license revoked for up to 10 years with no possibility of receiving a restricted license, even for necessities.
All sbsequent offenses, a fourth DUI and onward, may result in up to $15,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation with no restricted license available, and a minimum jail sentence of 1 year. These offenses are also charged as felonies.
If you were arrested for a DUI, it is important that you act fast to defend your rights and protect your freedom. Contact Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC to speak with our DUI lawyers about your case.