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What are the consequences of a drunk driving conviction?

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Tennessee, you face severe penalties. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security states that if this is your first driving under the influence offense, the penalties include the following:

  • Jail sentence of from 48 hours to 11 months
  • Seven consecutive days minimum confinement if your blood alcohol concentration was 0.20 percent or above
  • Driver’s license revocation for one year
  • $350-$1,500 fine
  • Ignition Interlock Device installed on your vehicle at your expense
  • Restitution to anyone who suffered a personal loss or physical injury as a result of your drunk driving

If you have a second DUI conviction, you will spend a minimum of 29 days in jail; your fine will increase to as much as $3,500; your license will be revoked for two years; your vehicle will be subject to seizure or forfeiture; and you will be ordered to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program. The penalties for a third and fourth DUI conviction are even more severe. In addition, a fourth conviction is a Class E Felony rather than a misdemeanor. If any two of your convictions are within a five-year period, the IID will be required on your vehicle for six months after you get your driver’s license reinstated.

Under Tennessee law, you give your implied consent to submit to a BAC test any time you are arrested for DUI. This means that if you refuse to submit to such a test, your driver’s license automatically is revoked for one year if it is your first offense, two years if it is your second or more offense, and five years if your drunk driving caused a crash in which someone died.

This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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