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What are Tennessee's DUI Laws

Under TN DUI law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is at .08% or above. Drivers who are under the age of 21 are held to a standard of less than .02%. If you are pulled over by law enforcement, and they believe you are driving with a BAC of more than the legal limit, they may request that you do a series of field sobriety tests. However, you are not required by law to complete these tests, and refusing to undergo a test cannot be held against you. It is typically in the driver’s best interest not to complete these tests, as the results can be manipulated and used against them in court.

If, on the other hand, a police officer requests that you submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine, refusal to comply may result in an automatic one-year suspension of your license. When you obtained your driver’s license, you became obligated to submit to this type of chemical testing upon request based on Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law. If the chemical test shows that your BAC is .08% or more, this is enough to prove you are legally intoxicated, and the officer may arrest you for DUI. However, these tests are not always accurate, and failing such a test does not mean you will necessarily be convicted.

Do you have questions about your rights under TN DUI law? Don't hesitate to contact our Memphis DUI attorney today to learn how we can defend you.

What are the Penalties for DUI in Memphis, TN

The punishment for DUI in Tennessee is dependent on the number of previous convictions you have for driving under the influence. Potential penalties include fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, mandatory attendance of a drug and alcohol treatment program, vehicle seizure, and installation of an ignition interlock device.

First-time DUI offenders can face a range of penalties, including:

  • 48 hours to nearly one year in jail
  • $350 to $1,500 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension for one year
  • Alcohol and drug treatment program

Second-time DUI offenders will face higher penalties, including:

  • 45 days to almost a year in jail
  • $600 to $3,500 in fines
  • Driver’s license revocation for up to 2 years
  • Seizure of a vehicle

A third DUI offense carries even harsher punishments, including:

  • 120 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail
  • $1,100 to $10,000 in fines
  • License revocation for 6 years

Fourth and subsequent DUI offenses are felonies and can be punished as follows:

  • At least 365 days in jail
  • $3,000 to $15,000 in fines
  • 8-year license revocation

A conviction for driving under the influence in Tennessee comes with severe and long-lasting consequences. Our Memphis DUI attorney, Tim Francavilla, at Francavilla Law Firm can help you understand your rights and lead the way in fighting against your charges. For 25 years, we have successfully defended clients who have been arrested for first-time and repeat DUI offenses, obtaining numerous case dismissals and charge reductions.

Facing charges for DUI? If you want to stay out of jail and on the road, call our Memphis DUI lawyer at (901) 979-9992 now to begin formulating a powerful defense.

Contact Us Today

With so much on the line, make sure you have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact Francavilla Law Firm to discuss your rights and options with our experienced DUI lawyer in Memphis.

Call (901) 979-9992 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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