Tennessee, like many other states, mandates what is known as a “DUI Per Se” law. By definition, DUI per se simply means that you were driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more.
You may be wondering, “How is that different from driving under the influence?” The answer is not overly complicated—it’s just not common knowledge.
The difference between a DUI per se charge and a charge of driving under the influence basically boils down to the fact that everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to consuming alcohol. Someone who has a lifelong drinking habit, for example, may be able to function almost normally with a BAC of 0.10 or higher, while someone who only drinks alcohol once a year may not be able to walk a straight line after consuming one or two drinks.
Because of these individual differences in tolerance and alcohol absorption rates, it is difficult to establish a definition of driving “under the influence” that fits all cases across the board. In light of this, lawmakers enacted the DUI per se charge, which allows them to charge anyone found operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher with DUI per se—regardless of whether the individual’s ability to operate the vehicle safely was impaired or not.
Although prosecutors in Tennessee may pursue both charges—driving under the influence and DUI per se—you will not receive two separate sentences, even if you are found guilty of both. The DUI per se law essentially acts as a fail-safe; if prosecutors are unable to obtain a guilty verdict on driving under the influence, they still have the DUI per se charge to fall back on—that is, if your BAC was legitimately shown to be at or above the legal limit.
Tennessee DUI attorney Marcos Garza has spent countless hours studying BAC testing methods, undergoing numerous training courses in field sobriety testing, blood and urine laboratory testing and drug recognition methods. If you are facing driving under the influence charges or a DUI per se charge in Tennessee, don’t leave your case to chance—call the Garza Law Firm for a free consultation, and let’s discuss how we can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t delay—call (888) 680-7554 to schedule your free consultation with The Garza Law Firm today.