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Penalties for Drunk Driving in Tennessee

In Tennessee, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is grounds for a DUI, regardless of whether or not you were actually driving recklessly. At this BAC level, a driver is legally considered drunk and incapable of operating a motor vehicle. If a driver violates these conditions, they increase the risk of car accidents, highway collisions, and vehicular manslaughter exponentially. An estimated 32 % of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver, resulting in heavy enforcement of DUI laws in Tennessee.

DUI Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee law states that getting into a vehicle and driving acts as consent for submitting a chemical test to determine your BAC. Refusal to take a BAC test will result in one year of license revocation for your first offense, with time added if you’ve previously refused a breathalyzer or blood test.

Once it is determined that you were driving with a BAC above the allowed levels, you are susceptible to many penalties for your intoxication, including:

  • First offense: 48 hours – 11 months of jail time, a $350 – $1,500 fine, 1 year license suspension, and required ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Second offense: 45 days – 1 year of jail time, a $600 – $3,500 fine, 2 year license suspension, and required IID
  • Third offense: 120 days – 1 year of jail time, a $1,100 – $10,000 fine, 3-10 year license suspension, and required IID
  • Fourth offense: 150 days – 6 years of jail time, a $3,000 – $15,000 fine, 5 year – indefinite license suspension, and required IID

Penalties for driving drunk are increased if someone is injured while you were driving intoxicated and could result in charges as serious as vehicular manslaughter. Additionally, Tennessee has a 10-year look back period, during which previous DUI’s are still relevant.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney in Tennessee

Drunk driving has needlessly claimed millions of lives and will likely have a long-lasting negative impact on anyone involved. If you or someone you know has been injured in a drunk driving accident, the personal injury lawyers at Pohl & Berk, LLP may be able to help you hold the appropriate party responsible. Consult with our Nashville offices at 615-277-2765 to learn more.

Nashville Office Location

Pohl & Berk, LLP
1913 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
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