Tennessee DUIs: A risk for all ages

Tennessee has strict DUI laws that may vary from laws in other states. Drinking and driving is known as driving under the influence in Tennessee. This is illegal if you are caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. The .08 percent limit is known as the per se limit, which means that it doesn't matter if you appear intoxicated or not; you'll still face a DUI.

Although the state does have a zero-tolerance law, the limit is actually .02 percent. That means that any person under 21 who has a BAC of .02 or higher faces a DUI. However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as if the individual has partaken in a religious service. If someone under the age of 20 is caught drinking and driving, he or she will lose his or her license for a year. Additionally, a person could be fined $250 and have to participate in community service.

If a person is caught with a BAC that meets the requirement for an enhanced penalty, causes serious harm to another person or kills someone because of drinking and driving, that person could face up to 60 years in prison, depending on his or her BAC and other factors. Fines range from $5,000 up to $50,000.

Tennessee does have an implied consent law, which means that you must submit to a blood alcohol concentration test if you're asked to do so by a police officer. If you refuse to submit to the test, you may lose your license for a year automatically, even if it's found that you were not intoxicated. Our web page has more about what to do if you're facing a DUI.

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