When a police officer's vehicle lights are flashing in your rearview mirror, it's often enough to make your heart rate increase and blood pressure soar. You might experience increased stress levels in certain situations, such as if the flashing lights occur not long after you had a couple cold beers with friends at a local pub. Even though you're aware that the legal blood alcohol content level for driving in Tennessee is .08, and you know you only had a couple drinks, it's still worrisome.
It's understandable you'd be nervous if a police officer starts asking questions regarding where you've been and what you've been doing, especially if he or she also asks whether you've had any alcohol to drink. If you know your rights ahead of time, you may be able to mitigate your circumstances and avoid DUI charges. On the other hand, an arrest and conviction will likely result in having to install an ignition interlock device in your car if you retain driving privileges.
How does this device work?
An ignition interlock device is sort of like a mobile Breathalyzer test. The following facts provide information regarding how such systems operate and what Tennessee law states regarding DUI convictions and IIDs:
- Ignition interlock devices disable your vehicle's ignition system unless and until you blow into the device and test negative for alcohol in your breath.
- In this state, IIDs also include cameras, to capture a photograph of you each time you take a breath test using the device.
- If you test positive for alcohol in your breath, your car will not start.
- Such devices typically require repeat tests during on-road travel. This is to deter you from cheating by having someone else initially take the test so you can start your car.
- If chemical test results registered your blood alcohol content level at .08 or higher, the court will likely mandate you to install an IID in your vehicle.
- Other factors prompt such mandates as well, such as if you caused a collision that injured another person or had a minor in your vehicle when police arrested you.
- You are responsible for all expenses related to installation of an IID in your vehicle.
There's no need to automatically assume that the court will hand down a conviction if you face DUI charges in Tennessee. In fact, there are many instances when motorists are able to avoid conviction. Even if the court does convict you, it doesn't necessarily have to ruin the rest of your life. You wouldn't be the first person to regret a choice to drink then drive, and it is often possible to get life back on track in spite of a DUI conviction.
Those who are able to preserve their freedom, or at least lessen the long-term consequences of conviction, are often able to do so because they rely on support from experienced and aggressive defense assistance in court.