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DUI in Tennessee: What You Need to Know

October 5, 2019

It’s a criminal offense in every state to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, and prescribed medicines. This is more commonly referred to as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even though definitive proof of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) shows impairment, a perfect DUI lawyer will get the case dropped, or the charges minimized.

The first and most immediate result of a DUI is the loss of your driving license. You will have your license revoked even if the sentence has not been handed out to you–unless you take speedy legal measures. Once convicted, the offender will experience a minimum of four months of license restriction. It includes a leniency penalty for the first time DUI, depending on your state. Also, a Nashville DUI Lawyer will bargain for reduced fines and treatment diversion programs.

First DUI in Tennessee


A DUI is considered a first criminal offense in Tennessee if the driver has no previous DUI verdicts that have happened in the last decade. However, it’s up to the judge to assess the legal penalties and prison sentences within the limitations. It usually results in a fine, a suspension of the driver’s permit, and several days in prison.

A variety of considerations may impact the conviction, and this article addresses the minimum and maximum fines and sanctions for the first DUI in Tennessee.

Jail time – A first-offense DUI usually needs at least 48 hours in prison. However, if the rider had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.20 percent or more, the minimum prison period is seven days. If the person had a minor passenger at the time of the incident, the minimum penalty would increase to 30 days. The maximum prison sentence for the first DUI misdemeanor is 11 months and 29 days. A good Nashville DUI Lawyer will immediately address this. 

Roadside cleaning operation – Once the offender finished the minimum prison time, the judge may require the person to conduct community service.

Probation – Once the offender completes the minimum jail term, the judge can cancel the remaining prison sentence and put them on supervised release. As a condition of probation, the person will frequently have to finish a substance abuse evaluation and a DUI education course.

Fines – A person convicted of the first DUI must settle a penalty of $350 to $1,000.

Driver’s License Suspension – The court will also revoke the driver’s license for one year along with the punishments stated.

  • Restricted license– The judge may issue a provisional, limited license that permits the driver to use a vehicle for valid reasons.
  • Ignition interlock device– On granting a restricted license, the judge may also mandate the driver to use an ignition interlock device (IID) throughout the suspension.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for the first time DUI offense?

Yes. It’s always worthwhile hiring a Nashville DUI Lawyer to facilitate in getting the case dropped or ease consequences. Drivers should employ the finest available DUI attorney closest to their area to establish a formidable defense and save a permanent license suspension.

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