Upon conviction for a first offense DUI in Tennessee, a person is subject to a maximum sentence of 11 months, 29 days, with a minimum of 48 hours in jail or a minimum of 7 days in jail if at the time of the offense, the defendant’s blood-alcohol level was .20 or higher. Tennessee DUI laws also require a minimum $350.00 fine and court costs, the loss of a driver’s license for a period of one year, and enrollment in a court-approved DUI education course. Attendance at AA meetings may also be required. As a result, if you have been arrested in Tennessee you should contact a skilled attorney right away to protect your rights.
Tennessee DUI law is similar to the drunk driving laws in other states: Driving Under the Influence is one of the few crimes for which an individual can be convicted solely on the opinion of a police officer. While most Tennessee DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors (although a fourth offense is a Class E felony in Tennessee), the penalties for Tennessee DUI are typically much more serious.
DUI law in Tennessee requires the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was (1) operating or in physical control of (2) a motor vehicle on (3) any public road, highway, alley, parking lot, or any other premises generally frequented by the public while (4) under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.
In Tennessee, DUI law defines a person as being legally under the influence “per se” if their blood alcohol level is .08% or higher. This is true even if there is no evidence that the person’s ability to drive is actually impaired. An individual can also be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of narcotics, even if a physician prescribed it.
Upon conviction for DUI First Offense in Tennessee, a person is subject to a maximum sentence of 11 months, 29 days, with a minimum of 48 hours in jail, or a minimum of 7 days in jail if, at the time of the offense, the defendant’s blood-alcohol level was .20% or higher.
Tennessee drunk driving laws also require a minimum $350.00 fine and court costs; the loss of driver’s license for a period of one year; and enrollment in a court-approved DUI education course. Attendance at AA meetings may also be required. License revocation for one year is also required when a defendant is found to have refused to submit to a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) after being lawfully requested to do so. This may apply even where the defendant is not convicted of DUI.
Penalties for a second or subsequent conviction of DUI increase dramatically. On a second or subsequent offense, the vehicle used in the offense is subject to forfeiture. A fourth or subsequent conviction of DUI is classified as a Felony.
Bentley’s Law (Child Support Law)
In 2018, Tennessee enacted a law that requires DUI offenders to be financially responsible for the needs of children whose parents were killed in DUI-related accidents. This law, known as “Bentley’s Law,” is named after a 17-year-old girl who lost her parents in a DUI-related accident. In this article, we will discuss the details of Bentley’s Law and its implications for DUI offenders in Tennessee. The law was proposed by Tennessee State Senator Todd Gardenhire and signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam in May 2018. The law requires that any person convicted of a DUI-related offense that results in the death of another person must pay child support for any children left behind by the victim. Offenders who are convicted of DUI-related offenses that result in the death of another person will be required to pay child support for any children left behind by the victim. This financial obligation can be significant, especially if the offender has multiple children to support.