Driving under the influence is a serious charge, and if you are arrested on a DUI charge in Tennessee, there are serious consequences. DUI charges can be quite severe if you’ve had previous DUI charges. A police officer can stop you if they have reason to believe you’ve been driving under the influence. When convicted of a DUI, you could face fines, licensed suspension, and jail time.
Tennessee DUI Penalties and Enhancements
If you are charged with a DUI in Tennessee, and it’s your first offense, the penalties and fines will be based upon your driving history and previous DUI record. On a driver’s first offense, they could face a fine of up to $2500, license suspension for a year, and 11 months and 29 days in jail or less. If a driver faces any additional DUI charges, each subsequent offense becomes more severe. A second offense carries a fine of $3000, a two-year license revocation, and loss of their vehicle. A third offense includes up to $10,000 in fines and a six-year license suspension. After four, a fourth offense and any subsequent offenses could be charged as a felony with fines up to $15,000, an eight-year license suspension, and forfeiture of their vehicle. An underage DUI charge carries the same consequences as a first-time offender.
There are enhancement penalties for certain DUI related incidents:
· Vehicular Injury: The DUI driver could face stiffer penalties if someone is injured because of a DUI incident. An example of enhanced penalties would be if a drunk driver injured another person or caused a fatality. Injury to another person would add vehicular assault charges, a Class D felony, which can carry a prison sentence between 2 and 12 years. Causing the death of another person would add a vehicular homicide charge, a Class B felony, which carries a 10-year license revocation and up to 30 years in prison.
· Child Endangerment: If a minor is injured due to a DUI incident, the DUI driver could face enhanced penalties. This charge enhancement would also apply if the DUI driver had a child passenger who was injured.
Beware of Implied Consent
Tennessee has an implied consent law, which means that refusing to take a chemical test could lead to a suspended license. Drivers suspected of a DUI will be asked to take a chemical test that measures their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The test can also identify other substances in the bloodstream, like drugs. Refusing a chemical test can lead to a five-year license suspension.
Developing Defense Strategies for Criminal Defense Cases in Tennessee
Tennessee has strict DUI laws, so it’s important to be aware of the law, so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of it. Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense, and if your charges are enhanced, you will need an attorney. At Patton & Pittman Attorneys, we are available to help you build a defense in your case. Contact our law offices today to schedule a consultation to review the details of your DUI case. Our team can help you sort out the details and develop a defense strategy. We have been practicing law in Tennessee for many years, and our attorneys have a combined 85 years of experience. Call us today at (931) 361-4477 to schedule a consultation, or you can use our online contact form to request more information.