Most people in Tennessee know that it is illegal to drive when they are under the influence of alcohol and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08%. However, it is not uncommon for people to feel like their BAC is under the legal limit.
They may have had a couple drinks with dinner but feel fine. It may not be until they are stopped by police on their drive home that they realize that their BAC is above the legal limit.
At that point, they may be arrested and charged with a DUI. If people are convicted of a DUI, they will face penalties that affect them criminally and also may lose their driver’s license for a period of time.
The length of their license suspension and the criminal penalties they may face depend on certain factors. The penalties only increase if it is a second DUI.
Potential penalties for a second DUI
Under Tennessee law, the potential penalties for drivers who are convicted of their second DUI include being sentenced to jail between 45 days and 11 months, 29 days. They can also be fined between $600 and $3,500 and also be ordered to complete an alcohol and drug treatment program.
Those convicted may also have their driver’s license revoked for two years and if it is their second DUI within five years of the first DUI, they must have have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles for six months after their license is reinstated. They could even face forfeiture, meaning the vehicle they were driving at the time of the incident could also be taken from them.
It isn’t easy to defeat a DUI charge, but defendants may have defenses available to them. The potential defenses depend on the specific circumstances of the arrest. An attorney with experience in DUI defense can help clients understand how the law may apply to the unique facts of their case.