DUI Penalties In Tennessee

DUI Penalties in Tennessee can be harsh.  More importantly, beyond the criminal implications of jail time and fines, there are many secondary effects related to a DUI conviction, such as loss of license, increased fees for insurance and SR22 requirements, to employment consequences—especially if you are a commercial driver's license (CDL) or pilot's license holder.  The criminal consequences depend on the number of DUIs of which you have previously been convicted.  While most DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors rather than felonies, the TN DUI penalties for  DUI convictions are typically much more serious than other misdemeanors. All DUI convictions require mandatory jail time. Contact us immediately if you are facing a DUI prosecution. Here is a listing of the potential court-related consequences:

Implied Consent - Refusal to Submit to Blood Alcohol Test1st Offense2nd OffenseIf Crash Resulted in Bodily Injury 
(Most Aggravated Drunk Driving Law)
If Crash Resulted in Death 
(Most Aggravated Drunk Driving Law)
T.C.A.
§ 55-10-406
Revocation of Drivers License 
for 1 year
Revocation of Drivers License 
for 2 years
Revocation of Drivers License for 2 yearsRevocation of Drivers License 
for 5 years
T.C.A.
§ 55-10-401 - 
§ 55-10-403
1st Time
DUI Offender

2nd Time
DUI Offender
3rd Time
DUI Offender
4th Time (or subsequent)
DUI Offender

PUNISHMENT

Class A Misdemeanor

11 months, 29 days

Class A Misdemeanor

11 months, 29 days

Class A Misdemeanor

11 months, 29 days

Class E Felony

One to six years TDOC

JAIL TIME

YES

Mandatory minimum 

48 hours (7 days if blood alcohol concentration is .20% or higher)

YES

Mandatory minimum

45 days

YES

Mandatory minimum

120 days

YES

Mandatory minimum

150 days

FINES

Minimum fine $350

Maximum fine $1,500

Minimum fine $600

Maximum fine $3,500

Minimum fine $1,100

Maximum fine $10,000

Minimum fine $3,000

Maximum fine $15,000



WORK RELEASE

After mandatory minimum jail time.

After mandatory minimum 45 days or, in certain circumstances, after 2 days.

After mandatory minimum 120 days.

After mandatory minimum 150 days.



LITTER PICK-UP

YES

Mandatory 24 hours of roadside litter pick-up.

NO

NO

NO


DUI ASSESSMENT

YES

$100

YES

$100

YES

$100

YES

$100



BLOOD ALCOHOL OR DRUG CONCENTRATION TEST FEE

YES

$250 if convicted and submitted to a chemical test (blood, breath or urine)

YES

$250 if convicted and submitted to a chemical test (blood, breath or urine)

YES

$250 if convicted and submitted to a chemical test (blood, breath or urine)

YES

$250 if convicted and submitted to a chemical test (blood, breath or urine)


LICENSE REVOCATION

1 year

2 years

Minimum 6 years

Maximum 10 years

Minimum 8 years





RESTRICTED DRIVER'S LICENSE

POSSIBLY

If no serious bodily injury or death. Not available for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) driver's license.

Ignition interlock device required if BAC of 0.08% or higher.

POSSIBLY

Ignition interlock device required.

POSSIBLY

Ignition interlock device required.

NO

VEHICLE FORFEITURE

POSSIBLY

JUDGE'S DISCRETION

JUDGE'S DISCRETION

JUDGE'S DISCRETION



INTERLOCK DEVICE

POSSIBLY

At the discretion of the court or mandatory if BAC of 0.08% or higher.

If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense

MANDATORY

If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense

MANDATORY

If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense

MANDATORY

If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense

ALCOHOL SAFETY/DUI SCHOOL OR VICTIM IMPACT PANEL

MANDATORY

MANDATORY

POSSIBLY

POSSIBLY

REHABILITATION PROGRAM

JUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETION

COMMUNITY SERVICE

JUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETION

COMMUNITY SERVICE

JUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETIONJUDGE'S DISCRETION

In addition to the above, elevated penalties apply in certain circumstances:

Vehicular Assault - Serious injury to another person by a DUI driver
  • Class D Felony (T.C.A. § 39-13-106)
  • License revocation from 1 to 5 years according to number of prior offenses
  • Jail time 2 to 12 years according to range(T.C.A. § 40-35-112)
  • Plus fines and court costs
  • No restricted driver license is available
Child Endangerment - DUI with passenger under 18 years old
  • Class D felony if child suffers serious injury(T.C.A. 55-10-403 & T.C.A. 40-35-112)
  • 2 to 12 years jail time
  • Class B Felony if child death involved
  • 8 to 30 years jail time
  • License revocation

If you are facing a DUI charge in Tennessee, contact us immediately to begin addressing your issues.

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.