How a prior out-of-state DUI could affect a charge in Tennessee

| Aug 21, 2020 | Drunk Driving |

In July 2020, Tennessee joined the Interstate Driver License Compact, a group of more than 40 U.S. states that exchange information about traffic violations. As reported by 105.7 News, each state’s motor vehicle department shares reports of a non-resident’s driving offenses with their home state. 

One of the non-resident charges shared is driving under the influence. As a result, individuals with an out-of-state DUI conviction could face a harsher outcome when facing a similar charge in their home state of Tennessee. 

An out-of-state DUI charge could increase penalties for a first-time offense in Tennessee

A prior DUI offense in another Driver License Compact state could count toward a repeat offense in a motorist’s home state. The states’ agreement stipulates treating all traffic violations the same across the Compact’s states, regardless of the member state in which a charge originates. 

A member-state conviction can cause a first-time DUI charge in Tennessee to classify as a second offense. As noted by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, a conviction of a second DUI could result in spending between 45 days and 11 months in jail. 

Two or more DUI convictions in five years may lead to an ignition interlock device order

A judge may order Tennessee motorists with a prior member-state DUI conviction within five years to install an IID in their vehicles. The device requires a driver to provide a breath test; if its monitor detects impairment, the vehicle will not start. 

A first-time offense in the Volunteer State with a prior out-of-state DUI conviction could also result in attendance at a treatment program. As stated on the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security website, drivers must cover the costs of their court-ordered IIDs or treatment programs.