Skip to content

First Offense DUI in Tennessee

First Offense DUI in Tennessee

A first-time DUI offense in Tennessee is no small matter. While technically a misdemeanor in Tennessee, a DUI charge can come with a plethora of consequences, including: jail time, suspension of license, court costs, fines, community service, higher insurance rates, and adverse effects on your career.

And that’s just naming a few. Arming yourself with the facts and obtaining a competent, experienced DUI lawyer is imperative for mitigating some of these potentially life-altering consequences.

Read on to learn more about what you’re up against.

Potential DUI Penalties in Tennessee

For your first DUI conviction, you can expect to spend at least 48 hours in jail and up to 11 months, 29 days depending on the severity of your specific case. If your BAC was over .20, there’s a minimum jail time of 7 consecutive days.

Fines can range from $350 to $1,500 (plus a $100 special assessment).

Additionally, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year, with a restricted license available if other qualifications are met. An ignition interlock device will be installed at your expense for a period of one year, with no “lock ups” during the last 120 days before your license can be reinstated. The court may also require ankle bracelet monitoring, random alcohol and/or drug testing, GPS monitoring, or other forms of monitoring. Moreover, drug and alcohol treatment will be required at the judge’s discretion.

Possible Monetary Costs of a DUI

The costs of a first-time DUI in Tennessee extend beyond just fines. Other costs can include court costs, bail, driving school, towing fees, attorney fees, and license reinstatement fees. All things considered, average costs for a first-time DUI can easily exceed $10,000.

Employment Considerations of a DUI

A DUI offense can affect your job or career in multiple ways. Many employers have a mandatory firing policy if an employee is convicted of a crime, and for future job searches, background checks are often pre-requisites for employment at many companies.

If your job requires a professional license, like nurses, doctors, lawyers, etc., a DUI could affect the status of that license. Of course, if you have a commercial driver’s license, your career may very well end with a DUI conviction.

Beyond the obvious future career implications of a DUI conviction, a suspended license could also mean you have no way to drive to work – this same issue applies if you lose your insurance. DUI court appearances, alcohol treatment programs, and such could also result in lots of missed work.

Auto Insurance Considerations

After your first DUI, your car insurance company is going to undoubtedly view you as more of a risk. And with more risk comes higher premiums, and depending on your individual circumstances, possible even loss of insurance. In most cases, you should expect an auto insurance premium increase of several hundred dollars – though this will vary from insurer to insurer and will depend heavily on the details of your offense and past driving history, among other factors.

Get Help from a DUI Lawyer

Your first DUI is a serious offense, and the courts aren’t going to go easy on you – even if you have a squeaky clean record prior to getting your DUI charge. The smart thing to do is retain a lawyer with experience navigating the DUI system in Tennessee. The lawyers at Knox Defense know the law, we know the legal system, and we will use our knowledge to protect you. Our clients can attest to that strength and to the life-changing experience their choice of us as their DUI lawyer has made.

Here are things to think about if you’re charged with a DUI:

  • Never assume you will be found guilty for drunk driving. There may be many strategies for better outcomes in your case that an experienced attorney can identify. 
  • Arrange a consultation with one of our lawyers. Get the facts and information you need about your DUI defense. Learn more about your best options.
  • You’ll leave the first consultation more informed and prepared for the future.

Posted in