Drivers who operate vehicles while intoxicated create very dangerous situations. They are risking the safety not only of themselves but also everyone they are sharing the road with. To deter this type of behavior, Tennessee legislators have enacted laws specifically targeting drunk driving. As explained by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security website, those convicted of driving under the influence face serious penalties. These consequences increase in severity if the driver has been convicted of multiple offenses or causes injury to another person.

A first-time DUI offender with a blood alcohol content level of less than 0.20 will face a maximum of 11 months and 29 days of jail time. Those with BAC levels above 0.20 must spend at least 7 consecutive days in jail. These offenders will also have their licenses revoked for one year and must pay a fine of $350 to $1,500.

DUI offenders with one or two prior convictions will face harsher penalties. These include more jail time, higher fines and longer license revocation periods.

If a person has more than three prior DUI convictions, they may be charged with a class E felony. This carries a sentence of up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $3,000 to $15,000. Additionally, the person’s license will be revoked for eight years, with no possibility of obtaining a restricted license.

DUI drivers who cause serious injuries to others may be charged with vehicular assault, which is a class D felony. Convictions will result in jail time of between 2 and 12 years as well as license revocations for up to 5 years.


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