“Don’t drink and drive.” “Booze it or Lose It!” These familiar refrains – often seen on flashing signs on the Interstate – are not empty adages. They are actually sound and candid advice. A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) carries serious ramifications in Tennessee. Those convicted of a DUI can suffer both direct criminal consequences and equally harmful collateral consequences in their lives.
Tennessee law prohibits driving under the influence of “any intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, drug, substance affecting the central nervous system, or combination thereof that impairs the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and control of oneself that the driver would otherwise possess” or having an alcohol concentration in their breath at .08% or more. Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-10-401(2). If you are driving a “commercial vehicle” then the law prohibits operating such a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .04% or more. Tenn. Code Ann. §55-10-401(3).
Murfreesboro DUI Penalties
If you are convicted of a DUI on your first offense, you “shall, upon conviction for the first offense, be sentenced to serve in the county jail or workhouse not less than forty-eight (48) consecutive hours nor more than eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days.” Tenn. Code Ann. §55-10-402(a)(1)(A). If your blood alcohol content is .2% or more, upon first conviction, you have to spend at least seven days in jail. Tenn. Code Ann. §55-10-402(a)(1)(B).
Jail time is not the only consequence or penalty for a DUI conviction. You will have to pay fines and may have to attend a substance abuse prevention program. For a first offense, the fine ranges from between $350 to $1,500. Tenn. Code Ann. §55-10-403(a)(1). The fines get progressively more onerous upon subsequent convictions. The law also requires you to pay restitution to any person who may have been injured or suffered property damage as a result of your drunk driving. Tenn. Code Ann. §55-10-403(d). The law also gives the judge the option of ordering a person to a drug and alcohol treatment program as a form of probation. See Tenn. Code Ann. §55-10-410.
Perhaps most significantly for most first-time offenders, a first-time DUI offense requires a court in Tennessee to prohibit a person from driving for one year. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 55- 10-404. As stated earlier, the penalties get progressively worse with more DUI convictions. Losing one’s driving license for a year is an incredible burden to carry and overcome.
As mentioned, the collateral consequences can be severe too. Some people could lose their jobs with a DUI conviction. Others face the stigma and shame of having their name in a public arrest database.
Because the consequences of a DUI conviction are so severe, a person facing DUI charges needs to hire an excellent criminal defense attorney who has experience with police procedure, search and seizure law, and related concepts.
Your Murfreesboro DUI Lawyer
The State of Tennessee classifies Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as a misdemeanor however; a DUI case is more complicated and the punishment more severe than most other misdemeanor cases. It is one of the few misdemeanors that carries mandatory jail time with a conviction.
This is why you need an attorney who has the utmost knowledge about DUI offenses. One who just hasn’t represented clients in a DUI case. One who has also actually made DUI arrests and testified in court about those arrests. An attorney who had been thoroughly trained in administering field sobriety tests, has been certified in the operation of the Intoxilyzer (generically called a “breathalyzer” by the untrained) and who has been thoroughly trained in the effect alcohol and drugs has on your body.
I am that attorney. I have been trained in all of these things and much more when it comes to DUI detection and arrest. I have made hundreds of DUI arrests and only one has been lost at trial. I have also many times declined to arrest someone for DUI because they did not meet arrest criteria. I can evaluate your case as very few people attorneys can: with the expertise of both an attorney and as a trained former law enforcement professional.
Contact me today for a free consultation. If you or a loved one is ever arrested for a DUI in any of the following cities, please notify us:
Don’t fight alone!
If you are facing a DUI charge in Tennessee, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your case and learn about your options. Schedule a consultation today!