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Sentence Enhancements for DUI in Tennessee

A DUI offense that would usually be classified as a misdemeanor (i.e. first, second or third DUI offense) can be enhanced to a felony in certain circumstances:

  • Vehicular Assault- If the DUI offense results in serious bodily harm it will be classified as a Class D felony and you will face harsher penalties.
  • Child Endangerment- If a child under the age of thirteen was seriously injured while you were driving under the influence, this will again be classified as a Class D felony. If an accident occurred and instead the child was killed, this will be classified as a Class C felony. Child endangerment enhancements can lead to much harsher penalties.
  • Vehicular Homicide- If your DUI resulted in the death of another person, this is classified as a Class B felony.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault- A DUI will be considered an “aggravated vehicular assault” and a Class A felony if you have been convicted of two or more DUI’s or vehicular assaults or any combination of the two, if you have a prior vehicular homicide conviction, or if your BAC is 0.20% or greater when arrested for vehicular homicide and you have one prior DUI or vehicular assault conviction.

Enhanced Penalty Blood-Alcohol Concentration in Tennessee

If you are arrested with a particularly high BAC (0.20% or greater) you are subjected to enhanced penalties.

If you are arrested with a particularly high BAC (0.20% or greater) you are subjected to enhanced penalties. If your BAC is 0.20 or greater and this is your first DUI offense, you will be required to serve a minimum of 7 consecutive days in jail instead of forty-eight consecutive hours in jail in addition to the other penalties listed for a first time DUI offender. Also, in certain counties with more than 100,000 residents, the court may allow 200 hours of community service instead of jail time.


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