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Quotas and Penalties for DUI in Tennessee

From mandatory jail time to high fines, Tennessee drivers can face serious penalties if convicted of drunk driving or drugged driving offenses.

People who live in and around Nashville should take note of a recently published article in The Times News. The report tells the facts about quotes that the Tennessee state patrol is tasked with meeting pertaining to drunk driving arrests. With spring break season in full swing, now is a smart time to be aware of such realities.

DUI convictions have a long-lasting impact on drivers. Felony charges can even be imposed on some drivers according to information provided by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. The specific consequences can vary from case to case and a primary factor is whether or not a driver has been convicted of any impaired driving offenses in the past.

First-time DUI conviction penalties

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security website indicates that the total cost for a first-time DUI conviction in Tennessee can cost a driver up to $6,500 by the time all fines and other administrative fees are assessed. Mandatory jail time for a first offense can be required for as little as 48 hours or for only one day shy of a full calendar year. In addition, a person will lose the privilege to drive for up to one year.

Second-time DUI conviction penalties

The consequences to drivers convicted of second DUI offenses are similar to those of first offenses. The biggest difference is that a driver's license may be revoked for up to two years and the basic fines can be up to $2,000 more than for a first DUI.

Third-time DUI conviction penalties

People who are arrested for drunk driving in Tennessee that have been convicted of two prior offenses will face far more stringent penalties if convicted again. Some of these penalties include:

  • Revocation of driving privileges lasting between six and 10 years with no option to receive a restricted driver's license.
  • Seizure of any motor vehicle owned by the convicted driver by the court.
  • Required fines as high as $10,000.

In addition, a driver in this situation can be required to spend time in jail lasting just one day short of a full calendar year.

Fourth-time DUI conviction penalties

A fourth drunk driving offense is treated as a Class E felony in Tennessee. At least 150 days of a 365-day jail sentence can be required to be served in a consecutive term. Fines at this level can reach $15,000.

What should drivers do if arrested?

Seeking the help of a lawyer is recommended after any DUI or DWI arrest. The need for expert assistance is real regardless of any prior convictions.