All 50 states in the United States now apply two statutory offenses to driving under the influence of alcohol. The first offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon a police officer’s observations – which can include driving behavior, slurred speech, results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.
The second offense is “illegal per se”, which is driving with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08% or higher. It has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher since 2002.
In Tennessee, 1st offense is a Class B misdemeanor, 2nd and 3rd offenses are Class A misdemeanors, 4th and subsequent offenses within ten years are Class E felonies.
Blood Alcohol Content Limit
The legal limit for an adult to in drunk driving cases is .08 percent. For someone under age 18, under current Tennessee law the legal limit is .02 percent. For persons of any age driving a commercial vehicle such as a tractor trailer, or any other commercial vehicle, the legal limit is .04 percent.
The penalties of DUI conviction can include:
- Mandatory jail time
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, at your own expense – this can cost upwards of $1,000 over the course of the year
- Fines that can amount to thousands of dollars
- Community service
- Driver’s License revoked for one year
The severity of each of the penalties listed depends on the number of DUI convictions you have had in the last 10 years and the unique circumstances of your case.
Additional consequences that could result from DUI conviction can include: negative impact on future job and education opportunities, increased auto insurance premiums, loss of rights to buy or possess firearms, inability to rent a vehicle and more.
Contact an experienced Nashville DUI Attorney today!