What are the Tennessee Driving Under the Influence Laws?

In Tennessee, driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense.
For drivers over the age of 21 years, the law states that BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08 or higher is illegal. It is unlawful to drive a motor vehicle if the ability to drive the vehicle has been impaired by alcohol or drugs. For people under the age of 21 the limit is even lower: 0.02%. In Tennessee, a chemical test is sometimes conducted to test the BAC level. This chemical test can be either a breathalyzer or in some cases a blood draw. Sometimes law enforcement will ask you to perform a standardized field sobriety test (“SFST”) to determine if you are impaired. Some of these include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, etc. These tests are designed to make you fail and are not very accurate. You can also be arrested if you are impaired under the influence of drugs. The common misconception is that because your doctor prescribed you the medicine you are allowed to drive. This is not true. A person can also be arrested if their BAC level is less than 0.08% but he is showing signs of the influence of drugs or alcohol. Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-401, et seq., are the statute sections covering driving under the influence in Tennessee.

As a driver in LaFollette, Jacksboro, Huntsville, Jacksboro or any other part of Tennessee, it is important to know your rights when you get pulled over for driving under the influence. Remember that the penalties for DUI can be expensive, harsh, and inconvenient, so it is always better to be prepared for this situation. You need to have a sound idea of laws related to DUI and the penalties if you are convicted under DUI.
DUI Penalties in LaFollette, Caryville and other parts of Tennessee
The penalties for DUI are based on previous offenses and driving history and additional requirements as follows –

In case of 1st offense of DUI, Tennessee law states –

  • up to 11 months 29 days in jail (48 hours minimum; 7 days minimum if BAC is more than .20);
  • DUI school or Victim Impact Panel;
  • Fine ranging between $350 to $1000;
  • Ignition Interlock Device;
  • 1-year license revocation.

In case of 2nd offense of DUI, Tennessee law states –

  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device;
  • Mandatory jail for 45 days, but up to 11 months 29 days;
  • Fine ranging between $600 to $3500;
  • License revocation for 2 years.

In case of 3rd offense of DUI, Tennessee law states –

  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device;
  • Mandatory jail for 120 days, up to 11 months 29 days;
  • Fine ranging between $1100 to $10,000;
  • License revocation for 6 years.

Apart from these fines, each of the above offenses carries the possibility of an alcohol monitoring device, court costs, attorney fees and/or special assessment fees.
DUI conviction can bring serious restrictions and financial consequences. We encourage everyone to drive safely and not while impaired, but if you need us, we will fight for you. Call Bullock Law Firm at (423) 566-6001 for your free consultation.