Driving Under the Influence
There are few misdemeanor charges in Tennessee that can cause more stress, anxiety and problems than Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor in Tennessee; however, prosecution for DUI tends to move quickly and is aggressively prosecuted. The Tennessee DUI laws are complicated, and it's important to have an experienced DUI attorney who has the knowledge, training, and experience to fight your arrest for DUI. If you're arrested for DUI in the Memphis area, you should hire a DUI lawyer who knows all about the factors that affect your blood concentration of alcohol, who understands how a breathalyzer works, and who is familiar with the body's ability to metabolize alcohol and drugs.
Tennessee DUI Law
Under Tennessee law, it's illegal to drive a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches .08% or more or if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are under the age of 21, the legal BAC is less than .02%. If you are pulled over and the police officer believes that you are driving with a BAC level above the legal limit or if he believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be detained. The officer will ask you to do the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: 1) horizontal gaze nystagmus, 2) walk and turn, and 3) one-leg stand. After you complete these tests, the officer will read you the implied consent law and advise you that if you fail to submit to a BAC test, then your driving privileges will be revoked for one year for violation of the Tennessee Implied Consent Law. BAC is determined using breath testing or blood testing, whichever the police officer chooses (note: you have a right to a different test at your expense). After you do the field sobriety tests, whether or not you consent to the BAC, you will immediately arrested, taken to jail, and charged with DUI.
Tennessee DUI Penalties
If this is your first DUI and you are found guilty of DUI or if you plead guilty to DUI, Tennessee law provides the following penalties for a First Offense DUI conviction:
- Mandatory minimum forty-eight (48) hours in jail
- 11 months, 29 days suspended sentence
- 11 months, 29 days supervised probation
- $350 fine plus court costs
- 24 hours of community service
- Loss of driver's license for one year
- Alcohol safety school
- Ignition interlock device installed if BAC >.20
Tennessee DUI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence, please contact an attorney to explore your legal options and discuss your case. Talking to friends or exploring the internet for answers will only lead to undue stress and more questions. The only way to adequately learn about the process is to call an attorney with experience in defending DUI charges.
You may not be able to change the past, but an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm can help explain what to expect in the future following an arrest. We will discuss your matter with you in a confidential and respectful way outlining your possible options and working with you to defend yourself against any criminal charges. Call or email us to set up a free consultation so that we can provide you peace of mind while going through this difficult process.