Many states combat DUI with stern penalties, though the sanctions and case procedures differ. Tennessee differs from most states, since it doesn’t hold a pre-trial for administrative license suspension. The court determines the penalties for the driver, which may include an ignition interlock device.
First offense DUI penalties in Tennessee
For a first DUI offense, penalties commonly include a $350-$1500 fine, 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days of jail, and a one-year license suspension. The court may order the driver to participate in a treatment program, pick up litter on public highways and pay restitution, if applicable.
Administrative suspension commonly happens immediately if a driver refuses a BAC test. Officers give drivers who fail the test a notice of revocation, which serves as a temporary license. The driver has 10 days to challenge the charges, or the revocation remains.
Ignition interlock devices and DUI
Some states require drivers to install IIDs to get their license reinstated, and other states require all DUI levels to get the devices. Sometimes, the IID could be a requirement to get a hardship license, which limits a driver to necessary travel. In Tennessee, the driver can apply for a restricted license with an ignition interlock device, but they are responsible for the cost.
The ignition interlock device connects to a vehicle’s ignition system that measures the driver’s BAC. The driver breathes into the device, and the vehicle won’t start if the driver registers a BAC over the limit.
The devices lock a vehicle if the driver registers .02 or higher in Tennessee, and devices must come equipped with cameras to prevent fraud. The device takes pictures of the person blowing into it and records time and date. The license also indicates drivers who must use the IID as a condition to drive.
A DUI can have lasting consequences for motorists, but they don’t have to let it hinder their life. An attorney may be able to help them reduce charges or even get them dropped.