Tennessee DUI laws are stricter than some states. Even an individual's first DUI offense carries harsh penalties that will be enforced. While many states have set standards for dealing with drivers who are charged with a DUI, an individual charged with a Tennessee DUI may be subject to a variety of punishments.
For a first Tennessee DUI offense, an individual will have their license suspended for at least one year. They will have to pay a fine ranging from $350 to $1500. They may face a jail sentence of two days to 11 months. Another possible punishment includes the forced use of an ignition interlock device, which is a device that is attached to an individual's dashboard.
It works like a breathalyzer test and requires the driver of the car to breathe into it before the car can start. If the driver charged with a Tennessee DUI has a blood alcohol concentration of over the legal drinking limit of 0.08%, the car will not start. Other possible punishments include three community service shifts of litter pick up as well as an alcohol safety DWI program.
Tennessee law on DUI gives many of the same penalties for the second Tennessee DUI with some additions. An individual charged with a second Tennessee DUI must pay a fine ranging from $600 to $3500. Their license will be suspended for two years and they face a jail sentence of 45 days to one year. If the second Tennessee DUI offense is within five years of the first, then the ignition interlock device must be used for a period of six months. According to Tennessee DUI laws, the individual's vehicle may be seized as well.
The third Tennessee DUI charge that one receives results in all of the above punishments with some changes. The third charge results in one losing their license for a period of three to ten years, paying fines of up to $10,000 and serving from six months to one year in jail. The fourth Tennessee DUI charge may result in one losing their license permanently. According to Tennessee DUI laws, a fourth Tennessee DUI is a class E felony and is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 in addition to the other punishments.
All Tennessee DUI arrests can result in an individual being charged with child endangerment if a child under the age of 18 is in the car at the time of the arrest. While the legal blood alcohol content is 0.08%, a minor has a legal limit of 0.02% and a commercial driver has a legal limit of 0.04%.