The state of Tennessee takes a hard stance against driving under the influence (DUI). State law mandates minimum jail times, license suspension and varying fines, even for first-time DUI offenders with otherwise clean criminal records.
If you are charged with DUI in Tennessee, you can expect to spend a minimum of two days in jail, even if it is your first DUI offense. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.20%, the minimum jail sentence will be raised to seven days.
Keep in mind, though, that these are minimum jail sentences; it is possible even for first-time offenders to face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail for a DUI in Tennessee.
First-time DUI offenders in Tennessee are fined a minimum of $350. However, between court costs and legal fees, you could end up paying well over $1,000. Additional costs may be incurred if you are sentenced to probation and have to pay supervision fees or if you are ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle (for a period of 1 year). You will also be required to purchase and maintain high-risk SR-22 insurance for a period of 3 to 5 years.
Other penalties associated with DUI conviction include a minimum of 24 hours of community service, as well as completion of DUI School. You also will be subject to a drug and alcohol evaluation to determine whether you have a substance abuse problem. Based on the evaluation, the judge may order you to any number of drug and alcohol rehab or treatment programs.
One of the most devastating effects a DUI conviction can bring is the loss of your driver’s license for a full year. This can severely impact not just your ability to complete court-ordered penalties such as community service or drug and alcohol treatment programs, but can also affect day-to-day functions like driving to work or school.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a judge may also order an ignition interlock device to be installed in your car at your own expense.
The Garza Law Firm offers free consultations for DUI cases in Tennessee. If you are facing a DUI charge, call (888) 680-7554 to schedule your consultation.