Tennessee has a blood alcohol level at which the state presumes the driver is drunk. This is called a “per se” BAC and is set at .08 in the state of Tennessee. In addition, having an extremely high BAC in Tennessee of .20 or above, can result in enhanced penalties.
In Tennessee, a DUI is a misdemeanor the first three times you are convicted. A fourth offense DUI Nashville, however, will result in felony charges. One will also be charged with a felony DUI in other circumstances such as:
- Caused serious injury in a traffic accident due to impaired driving
- Caused the death of another person (vehicular homicide)
- Drove with a minor in the car while under the influence
- A child passenger under the age of 13 was injured or killed
- Caused extensive property damage in an accident
A fourth DUI will be charged as a Class E felony. This carries penalties of minimum jail time of 150 days, a $3,000-$15,000 mandatory fine, and the suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of 5 years (with no possibility of obtaining a restricted license). You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle at your own expense. Moreover, you may face having your vehicle impounded.
A fourth DUI upgrades the misdemeanor charge to a Class E felony – punishable by 150 days to 1 year in jail. Additionally, certain circumstances automatically upgrade a DUI to a felony:
- Class D felony — DUI vehicular assault (while DUI, seriously injuring another person)
- Class D felony if the child is injured; Class C felony if the child is killed — Child endangerment (DUI with a child under 13 in the vehicle)
- Class B felony — DUI vehicular homicide (causing a fatal automobile accident while DUI)
- Class A felony — DUI aggravated vehicular assault (two or more prior DUI or vehicular assault convictions, one prior vehicular homicide conviction or a BAC level of .20 or greater)
A DUI conviction does not merely affect your record. Having a conviction for DUI on your record can haunt you for years to come, affecting job and home applications and much more. Call us today for a consultation.