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DWI DUI Penalties in Tennessee



DUI in Tennessee is a serious crime with serious consequences. If you are caught operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent under Tennessee DUI law (also known as Tennessee DWI law).

DUI in Tennessee: First Offense Penalties

The first time that you are convicted of DUI in Tennessee, you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor and may face a number of penalties including:

  • Two days to 11 months and 29 days in jail (if your BAC is .15 percent or more, the minimum increases to seven days in jail)
  • Driver's license revocation for one year
  • Tennessee DUI school
  • A fine of $350 to $1,500
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device

DUI in Tennessee Second Offense Penalties

A second DUI in Tennessee is still considered a class A misdemeanor, but it can entail more severe penalties than a first offense. If convicted, penalties may include:

  • 45 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail
  • A mandatory fine ranging from $600 to $3,500
  • Driver's license revocation for two years
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture
  • DUI school
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device

There are no additional penalties for a BAC of .15 percent or above with the second Tennessee DWI offense.

DUI in Tennessee Third Offense Penalties

A third DUI in Tennessee is still considered a class A misdemeanor. However, penalties are more serious than a first or second offense. Penalties if convicted include:

  • 120 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail
  • Mandatory fines of $1,100 to $10,000
  • Driver's license revocation ranging from three to 10 years
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture
  • DUI school
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device

Felonious DUI

If you commit a fourth DUI in Tennessee, you will be charged with a class E felony. If convicted, you may also face substantial penalties, such as:

  • 150 days to one year in jail
  • Mandatory fines of $3,000 to $15,000
  • Driver's license revocation for five years
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture
  • DUI school
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device

Vehicular Assault and Homicide in Tennessee

If you seriously injure someone while committing DUI in Tennessee, you may be charged with vehicular assault, which is a class D felony. If convicted, penalties include fines, license revocation ranging from one to five years, and jail time from two to 12 years.

If you cause someone's death while committing a DUI, you may be charged with vehicular homicide, which is a class B felony. If convicted, the crime is punishable with varying jail sentences and fines, as well as a license revocation for a period ranging from three to 10 years.

Child Endangerment Charges

If you are caught drinking and driving in Tennessee with a child under the age of 13 and the child is seriously injured in an accident, you may be charged with a class D felony. This crime is punishable by two to four years in jail if you are convicted.

If the child dies as a result of the DUI, you may be charged with a class C felony. This crime is punishable by three to six years in jail, as well as revocation of your driver's license.

If you have further questions about Tennessee DUI law, contact a Tennessee DUI attorney in your area.