Pursuant to T.C.A. §55-10-406, it is illegal to refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test in the State of Tennessee. For a first offense, the penalty is loss of a driver’s license for one year. For a second offense, the penalty is loss of a driver’s license for two years. If the DUI results in a crash, then the penalty is loss of a driver’s license for two years. If the DUI results in a death, the penalty is loss of a license for five years.
First Offense DUI
Pursuant to T.C.A. §§55-10-401 and 55-10 -403, the penalty for a first time DUI is 48 hours in jail and up to 11 months, 29 days in jail. One is presumed to be intoxicated if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. If the blood alcohol level is .20 or higher, there is a minimum jail time of 7 consecutive days. Your license is revoked for 1 year; however, a restricted license is available.
You will be ordered to participate in an alcohol and drug treatment program, and there is a fine from $350 to $1,500 plus restitution if a person suffered physical injury or personal loss.
With towing, bail, attorney, high risk insurance, court costs, school, and reinstatement fees, your first offense average costs could add up to $4,900. An Ignition Interlock Device may be installed at your expense. Minimum first year costs could exceed $1,000.00. Generally, you will be required to attend DUI school.
If there are two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, an Ignition Interlock Device is required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense. Drug and Alcohol Treatment may be required at the judge's discretion.
Second Offense DUI
A second offense DUI carries a penalty of from 45 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail. There is a $600 to $3000 fine and license revocation for 2 years with a restricted license available. You are subject to vehicle seizure or forfeiture and ordered to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program. Ignition Interlock Device installed at your expense
If there are two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, an Ignition Interlock Device is required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense. You also have to pay restitution to any person suffering personal injury or loss.
Third Offense DUI
A third offense DUI carries a penalty of 120 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail with from $1,100 to $10,000 in fines. Your license will be revoked for 6 years with a restricted license available. You may be subject to seizure of your vehicle and will have to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program. Any Ignition Interlock Device, if allowed, would be installed at your expense.
Fourth Offense DUI
A fourth offense DUI is aClass E Felony and carries a penalty of 1 year jail time with a minimun of 150 consecutive days served and a fine from $3,000 to $15,000. Your license will be revoked for 8 years with the availability of a restricted license. Your vehicle is subject to seizure. You must attend an alcohol and drug treatment program, and any Ignition Interlock Devise is at your expense.
Other Related Offenses
There are more serious penalties for offenses such as Vehicular Assault, Child Endangerment, Vehicular Homicide and Aggravated Vehicular Assault While Intoxicated.
If you are in a DUI situation, you have to let them take your blood under the implied consent law, or you risk losing your license for a year. You must give them information about yourself, such as your date of birth, address, etc. You do not have to go through sobriety testing. You should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. Do not talk with anyone about it without the advice of your attorney.