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DUI Penalties in Tennessee

First time DUI offense- Your first DUI conviction is usually classified as a misdemeanor. An offender will be forced to spend a minimum of forty-eight hours in jail and a maximum of eleven months; however, if you have a particularly high BAC (0.20% or greater) you must serve a minimum of seven days in jail. Further, your license will be suspended for one year, you will be required to attend DUI School, you will be fined at least $350 and you might be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

Second time DUI offense – Second DUI offenses within the past ten years are also considered a misdemeanor. However, fines and penalties become harsher with subsequent DUI offenses. You will be required to spend at least forty-five days in jail and a maximum of one year, your license will be revoked for two years, you will again be required to attend DUI school and you must pay fines of at least $600. Further, if your second DUI offense happens to be within five years of your first DUI offense, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and your vehicle may be seized from you.

Third time DUI offense- A Third DUI offenses within the past ten years is a misdemeanor as well. You will be required to spend at least 120 days in jail and a maximum of one year, your license will be suspended for three to ten years, you will not be eligible for a restricted license, you will be forced to attend DUI school, face fines of at least $1,100, you might have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and your vehicle may be seized.

Fourth and Subsequent DUI offense- The fourth or subsequent DUI that an offender receives is classified as a Class E felony and the penalties are much harsher. You will be required to spend a year in jail with a minimum of 150 consecutive days served, you will face fines upward of $3,000, your license will be revoked for five years, you will not be eligible for a restricted license, you must attend DUI school, your vehicle may be seized/forfeited and an ignition interlock device might need to be installed in your vehicle.

Vehicular Assault- Vehicular assault occurs when you cause serious injury to another person due to driving under the influence. This is considered a Class D Felony and your license will be revoked from one to five years depending on your prior offenses, you will serve two to twelve years in jail and you will pay considerable fines and court costs.

Child Endangerment- If you are convicted of a DUI with a child under the age of thirteen in your vehicle this is considered a Class D felony if the child suffers serious injuries. You will face two to four years in jail. If the child is killed while you were driving under the influence this is considered a Class C felony and you will face three to six years in prison and your license will be revoked.

Vehicular Homicide- If you kill someone while driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more this is a Class B felony. Your license will be revoked for three to ten years and you will not be eligible for a restricted license.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault while Driving under the influence- If you cause serious injury to another person while driving under the influence, and you have two or more prior DUI convictions, a vehicular assault conviction, a prior vehicular homicide, and/or a BAC of 0.20% or higher, this is considered a Class A felony.

1st Time DUI Offender – .08 (BAC) [55-10-401] [55-10-403]

  • 48 hours up to 11 months, 29 days for offenders in violation of 55-10-401
  • .20 BAC or greater minimum jail time 7 consecutive days
  • License revocation for 1 year
  • You will be ordered to participate in a DUI school
  • Pay restitution to any person suffering physical injury or personal loss
  • $350-$1,500 fine
  • With towing, bail, attorney, high risk insurance, court costs, school, and reinstatement fees, your first offense average costs could add up to $4,900
  • Judge can order you to install a vehicle Ignition Interlock Device at your expense. Minimum 1st year cost $810 [55-10-412d]
  • If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment may be required at the judge’s discretion

2nd Time DUI Offender

  • 45 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail
  • $600-$3,500 mandatory fine
  • License revocation for 2 years/Restricted License available after first year
  • Subject to .08 BAC
  • Subject to vehicle seizure/forfeiture
  • You will be ordered to attend a DUI school
  • The judge can order you to install a vehicle Ignition Interlock Device at your expense
  • If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense
  • Pay restitution to any person suffering personal injury or loss

3rd Time DUI Offender

  • 120 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail
  • $1,100 to $10,000 mandatory fines
  • License revocation for 3-10 years/NO restricted license available
  • Subject to .08 BAC
  • Subject to vehicle seizure/forfeit
  • DUI school
  • Judge could order an Ignition Interlock Device installed at your expense
  • If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense

4th and Subsequent DUI Offender

  • Class E Felony
  • 1 Year (365) days of jail time with a minimum of 150 consecutive days served
  • $3,000 to $15,000 mandatory fine
  • License revocation for 5 years/NO restricted license available
  • Subject to vehicle seizure/forfeit
  • DUI school
  • Judge could order an Ignition Interlock Device installed at your expense
  • If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense

Vehicular Assault – Serious injury to another person by a DUI driver

  • Class D Felony [39-13-106]
  • License revocation from 1 to 5 years according to prior offenses
  • Jail time 2 to 12 years according to range [40-35-112]
  • Plus fines and court costs

Child Endangerment – DUI with passenger under 13 years old

  • Class D felony if child suffers serious injury [55-10-403] [40-35-112]
  • 2 to 4 years jail time
  • Class C Felony if child death involved
  • 3 to 6 years jail time
  • License revocation

Vehicular Homicide

  • Class B Felony [39-13-213] [40-35-112]
  • Fatal crash caused by DUI with .08 BAC or more
  • License revocation for 3-10 years/NO restricted license available

Aggravated Vehicular Assault While Driving Intoxicated

  • Class A Felony [39-13-218] [40-35-112]
  • If any of the following conditions are present: Two or more prior (a) DUI conviction, (b) Vehicular assault convictions or, (c) any combination
  • One prior Vehicular Homicide
  • A BAC of .20 or greater at the time of the vehicular homicide has (1) one prior DUI or Vehicular Assault offense

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