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What are the penalties for a DUI in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2023 | blog, Drunk Driving |

Safe roads are a right for every traveler. To encourage responsible driving, state laws impose penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or various controlled substances.

The particular consequences of a DUI can vary by state. In Tennessee, the fines or sentences differ according to the details of the incident.

Number of offenses

A first-time offender receives a minimum of 48 hours in jail unless the BAC is over .20, in which case, the minimum becomes seven days. Incarceration may last up to 11 months and 29 days, and the court could revoke the defendant’s driver’s license.

The court also expects the offender to pay a fine from $350 up to $1,500. The person must foot the bill for an ignition interlock device and compensate anyone who suffered personal loss or physical injury from impaired driving. Additionally, the person must enroll in an alcohol and drug treatment program.

As one might expect, the severity of the penalties for a DUI increases each time a person has a repeat conviction. For example, a four-time offender faces felony charges, a year in jail, up to $15,000 in fines and loss of license for eight years.

Additional charges

The DUI charge only factors in the act of driving illegally. Other circumstances can attach further charges. Any of the following conditions bring felony charges, with years of imprisonment and license revocation:

  • Child endangerment
  • Child death
  • Vehicular assault
  • Vehicular homicide

Jail time may reach as high as 30 years. One’s criminal history can affect the ruling, and a restricted license may not be available.

A DUI conviction can lead to strict penalties. With the infraction on one’s record, the event can drastically alter a person’s opportunities for employment, housing and credit.