When it comes to a DUI-related license suspension, one common misconception is that the arresting officer or the court system has the authority to confiscate your driver’s license and suspend your right to drive. The reality is, only the Tennessee Department of Safety has the authority to revoke, suspend or reinstate driver’s licenses.
If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer on suspicion of DUI, that officer does NOT have the authority to seize your license. Even if your blood alcohol concentration is over the legal limit or if you refuse to take a chemical test, an officer or a court may not suspend or revoke your license. In the event that you are convicted of DUI, the Department of Safety may suspend your driver’s license as mandated by Tennessee law.
Simply stated, this means that your driver’s license is not automatically suspended when you are charged with DUI. Usually, the earliest your license will be suspended is at the conclusion of a General Sessions Court hearing, which could happen as early as your arraignment (first appearance), and before any trial in criminal court.
However, if you do refuse to take a chemical test during a DUI stop, you will be in violation of the Tennessee implied consent law. In this case, the court can send an order to the Department of Safety as soon as your first appearance (arraignment) to suspend your license for one year.
Once the Department of Safety gives you notice of your license suspension, you have 20 days to surrender your license. If you fail to surrender your license within the allotted 20 days, you will be charged with an additional crime.
Marcos Garza, a Knoxville-based DUI attorney, is well versed and experienced in Tennessee DUI law. If you are facing DUI charges in the state of Tennessee, call Mr. Garza at (888) 680-7554 and schedule a free case consultation to learn what he can do to help you save your license. With Mr. Garza by your side, you can be sure that your rights will be upheld and that you will receive a fair trial with the best chance at a favorable outcome.
Call (888) 680-7554 and schedule your free consultation today.