Tennessee DUI Penalties
Tennessee DUI Laws and Penalties
This section contains extensive information regarding Tennessee DUI laws and penalties. I have provided information on penalties, fines, restricted driver's licenses, ignition interlock devices, SR-22 insurance requirements, and alcohol safety school requirements. Tennessee DUI laws are always subject to change and this section's information is updated regularly.
Tennessee Administrative Law License Hearings and Revocation
I have reviewed many national DUI sites and they incorrectly state that you have 10 business days in which to request an administrative hearing to challenge the revocation of your driver's license in Tennessee. This is an incorrect statement. Currently under Tennessee DUI laws, there is not a separate hearing agency that hears license revocation matters. All Tennessee DUI driver's license revocation hearings and revocations are heard either in the General Sessions Court or the Criminal Trial Courts. The exact place where this "revocation hearing" occurs varies from county to county.
Tennessee DUI Penalties
Tennessee First Time DUI Offender Penalties
* 48 hours in jail is the minimum sentence and up to 11 months and 29 days is the maximum sentence. Davidson County, Nashville Tennessee has a provision that allows for community service work (200 hours) in lieu of jail time.
* .20 BAC or greater requires a minimum jail time of 7 consecutive days.
* License revocation is for a period of 1 year.
* You will be ordered to attend and complete a DUI school which consists of at least 12 hours or DUI education. Drug and alcohol treatment may also be required at the Court's discretion.
* Pay a fine of $350.00 to $1,500.00
* Pay restitution to any person suffering physical injury or resulting property damage.
* The Judge can order you to install a vehicle ignition interlock device at your expense for a minimum period of 1 year. Effective July 1, 2013, ignition interlock devices are mandatory under Tennessee law.
* You will be order to complete 24 hours of community service work.
* If you have two convictions for DUI in 5 years, an ignition interlock device is required for 6 months after the reinstatement date at your expense.
* According the Tennessee Department of Safety, the average cost of a first time DUI conviction in Tennessee is over $4,900.00.
Tennessee Second Time DUI Offender Penalties
* 45 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail.
* Jail credit of up to 28 days is available for inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment does not qualify.
* A mandatory fine of $600.00 to $3,500.00 is required.
* Mandatory license revocation for 2 years and a restricted license is only available after the first year. Effective July 1, 2013, a second offender can get a hardship license with the use of the interlock device for a 2 year period.
* You will be order to attend and complete a DUI school. In addition, the Judge can order additional drug and/or alcohol treatment as a condition of your probation.
* Your vehicle is subject to seizure/forfeiture.
* A vehicle ignition interlock device can be order. If you have two DUI convictions within 5 years, the device is required for 6 months after the reinstatement date of your license.
Tennessee Third Time DUI Offender Penalties
* Jail time is 120 days minimum up to 11 months and 29 days.
* No jail time credit is given for either inpatient or outpatient treatment.
* Mandatory fines range from $1,100.00 to $10,000.00.
* Subject to vehicle seizure/forfeiture
* License revocation for 6 years. No restricted license is available. Effective July 1, 2013, a hardship license is available with the use of the interlock device for a period of 6 years.
* A DUI school is mandatory and alcohol/drug treatment may be ordered by the court.
Tennessee Fourth and Subsequent DUI Offender Penalties
* Class E Felony
* 150 days in jail is the minimum jail time and up to 6 years is the max jail time.
* A hefty fine ranging from $3,000.00 to $15,000.00 is mandatory.
* License revocation is for 8 years. No restricted license is available. Effective July 1, 2013, a hardship license is available with the use of an interlock device for a period of 8 years.
* Vehicle is subject to seizure/forfeit.
* Completion of a DUI school is mandatory and alcohol/drug treatment may be ordered by the court
* Restitution to any person suffering personal injury or loss.
Tennessee Restricted License Information
In order to obtain a restricted license, you will first be required to pay your court costs and fine. Second, you will need to provide proof of SR-22 insurance. Third, you will need to obtain a court order directing the Tennessee Department of Safety to issue you a restricted license for the limited purpose of driving to work, school, or church. Lastly, you will need to take the court order for the restricted license along with your SR-22 insurance form to the Tennessee Driver's testing center. At the center, they will issue you a restricted license that will last for one year. If your job or school schedule changes, you will need to obtain an amended restricted license order from the Court.
*Effective July 1, 2013, those convicted of any DUI offense will be required to install an ignition interlock device for the entire period of their driver's license revocation period. A first time offender will be required to install the device for 1 year. A second time DUI offender will be required to install the device for 2 years and third time offender will be required to install the device for a period of years. Lastly, a fourth time offender will be required to install the device for a period of 8 years.