Of the 1,280 fatalities on Tennessee highways in 2004, about a third (420) involved at least one driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or greater. 238 of those deaths involved at least one driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .16 or higher.
It is illegal to drive in Tennessee with:
If you have no prior offenses in the last ten years, you are considered a first time offender. However, if you have a prior offense within ten years, then the court will consider all offenses you might have had in the last twenty years.
For Example: An offender with a conviction 11 years ago is considered a first time offender, but an offender with convictions 7 and 11 years ago will be sentenced as a third time offender.
Fourth and Subsequent Offenses
Minor (18 years old and younger) in the Car, First Time Offender
The judge has discretion to order probation or not. Probation may be set as high as the difference between the maximum possible sentence and the actual sentence. The judge has the ability to set any standards for probation that are reasonably related to the offense, but always has to impose: (1) participation in a DUI program, (2) participation in a rehab program (only available on second and subsequent offenses), (3) restitution for anyone injured as a result of the drunk driving, and (4) drug and alcohol assessment and treatment (if the convicted person has a prior offense in the last 5 years).
Ignition Interlock Devices
The court may, at its discretion, order the application of an ignition interlock system to the motor vehicle of any offender. This system will stay on for up to one year after the end of the license suspension period of the driver. The system may be calibrated so that it will not allow the car to start if the driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration is .025 or greater.
DUI Under 21
The legal limit for those under the age of 21 is a blood alcohol concentration of .02.
If the offender is between the ages of 18 and 21, this is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. This means a fine of $250 and a license suspension for one year. The court may also sentence the offender to community service.
If the offender is between the ages of 16 and 18, this is punishable with the same penalties. However, because state law prohibits adult charges being given to those under 18, this is not classified as a Class A Misdemeanor.
If the court has suspended or revoked your license, you may request a restricted one instead. The restricted license allows you to drive to and from:
Restricted licenses are unavailable to anyone who has a prior DUI conviction in the last 10 years.
Tennessee law says that anyone driving on a highway has given his implied consent to be tested for blood alcohol concentration. Of course, you retain the right to refuse this testing, but the penalties for refusal is additional license revocation of: