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The term "driving under the influence" (DUI) generally refers to the crime of driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications. In Tennessee, the first, second, and third DUI are Class A misdemeanor charges; the fourth or subsequent DUI is considered an E Felony charge. If you have been charged with drunk driving (DUI/DWI) in Tennessee, the defense attorneys at Baker Associates are here to protect your rights, your driver’s license, and your freedom. We provide experienced criminal defense representation to clients throughout Middle and East Tennessee.

DUI Laws in Tennessee

DUI laws in Tennessee are harsh and are designed to punish drivers who operate a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending on the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the severity of the offense (e.g if it caused an accident or not).

DUI Penalties in Tennessee

In Tennessee, a DUI conviction can result in a variety of penalties, including fines, jail time, and driver's license suspension. The specific penalties that will be imposed can depend on the severity of the offense (e.g if there was an accident or not), the blood alcohol content of the driver, and the defendant's criminal history. The mandatory minimum consequences if convicted of a DUI First Offense include: loss of license for one year, 48 hours to be served in custody, a $350 fine, and a probationary period of eleven months and twenty-nine days.

Other costs such as rehabilitation fees, restitution fees, and Ignition Interlock Device installation and maintenance fees may also be included at your expense.

Of course, a second offense, a third offense, etc., as well as cases of child endangerment, will result in much stiffer penalties.

There are other consequences to a conviction, including surcharges, increased insurance rates and potential forfeiture of your vehicle. The conviction can also hurt your employment prospects and result in the loss of your professional license.

Remember, however, you are innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can protect your rights and challenge the state’s case against you.

Our DUI defense attorneys aggressively scrutinize all elements of DUI cases, including the stop, the arrest, the field sobriety tests, and the chemical breath and blood tests. We know how to identify and expose unlawful police tactics that can get DUI evidence thrown out.

What Are Rehabilitation Fees in DUI?

Rehabilitation fees in DUI cases are those assessed by the state of Tennessee to help cover the costs of rehabilitating an offender. These fees may be imposed on a person convicted of DUI, or on their insurer if the person is insured. The fees are used to fund programs that help offenders recover from their addiction and return to being productive members of society. The programs vary in length and intensity, and can include residential or outpatient treatment, as well as support services such as education and job training.

The amount of the fee varies depending on the jurisdiction but it typically ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Offenders who cannot afford to pay the fee may be able to have it waived or reduced with the help of an attorney.

What Are Restitution Fees in DUI?

When someone is convicted of a DUI, they may be ordered to pay restitution fees. This is a special type of fee that is used to compensate the victim(s) for any losses or damages that they suffered as a result of the DUI. The amount of restitution that is ordered will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. It can include things like medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. These fees can be quite substantial, and often add up to thousands of dollars.

In addition to restitution fees, DUI defendants may also be required to pay fines and costs associated with their arrest and prosecution. For example, if your car was towed and/or impounded, you will be asked to pay for these.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and What Does it Have to Do With DUI in Tennessee?

An ignition interlock device is a small, electronic device that is connected to a vehicle's ignition system. The device requires the driver to provide a breath sample before the vehicle will start. If the device detects alcohol on the driver's breath, it will prevent the vehicle from starting.

The use of ignition interlock devices is mandated for all drivers convicted of DUI in Tennessee if they wish to obtain a restricted driver’s license. The devices must be installed in all vehicles owned or operated by the convicted driver.

Can You Fight a DUI Charge?

While there is no simple answer to this question, the short answer is that, in most cases, it is possible to fight a DUI charge. However, the specifics of each case will vary, and it is important to speak with an attorney to get a better understanding of your specific situation and the options available to you. Before talking to the police or anyone else about your DUI charge, talk to a criminal defense attorney who knows the law and can protect your rights.

In some cases, an attorney may be able to argue that the defendant was not actually impaired or that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle.

Your attorney may be able to argue that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. As such, in order for law enforcement officials to stop and search a vehicle, they must have reasonable suspicion that the vehicle is involved in criminal activity. In this case, your attorney may be able to show that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle, and therefore their search was unconstitutional.

Baker Associates Criminal Defense Lawyer

In a DUI charge in Tennessee, do you know whom to trust? Baker Associates Criminal Defense Lawyers are here to help. With years of experience defending DUI cases, we know what it takes to get the best results for our clients. Contact us today online or at (615) 622-0595 to arrange your free consultation.