No matter who you are, if you are convicted of drunk driving in Tennessee, then you could face harsh penalties. For example, many out-of-state drivers aren't aware that a DUI conviction in Tennessee carries a mandatory jail sentence of 48 hours even for first-time offenses. A second offense results in 45 days in jail, and a subsequent felony offense carries 150 days in jail.
Recently, a Cheatham County official was ordered to serve a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence after being found guilty of DUI. The charge against him dates back to August 2012, when the county commissioner was pulled over following an apparent tip from an off-duty deputy.
The commissioner, who has served his district for 12 years, will also be prohibited from driving for a year. He is required to complete 24 hours of roadside litter pick up, attend alcohol safety classes, and pay court costs and a fine.
After serving his jail time, which is scheduled to start in May, the commissioner will also be on probation.
Aside from the legal penalties, a driver can face after a DUI conviction, there may also be professional consequences. In this particular case, the commissioner is seeking reelection in August, and it remains to be seen whether his DUI charge will have any effect on the outcome.
To protect against all of these potentially life-altering repercussions, individuals accused of DUI in Tennessee should take the necessary legal steps to mount a strong criminal defense that draws into question the validity of the prosecution’s evidence.
Source: The Tennessean, "Cheatham commissioner guilty of DUI," Tim Adkins, April 15, 2014