Music City, U.S.A. is singing a happy tune this summer. There are plenty of parties and festivals to allow residents and visitors to enjoy the longer days and warmer weather that the season brings. But for those who are caught mixing drinking and driving, the tempo is about to change.
Drunk driving is a serious crime in the state of Tennessee. This charge is governed by a complex set of laws and its penalties are becoming more severe year after year. This is not a situation that should be handled alone.
If you have been arrested for DUI in the Nashville area, you should secure the services of an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. By choosing a legal professional who specializes in DUI cases, you can ensure that all of the unique circumstances of your situation are being considered.
At the time of your arrest, officers requested that you complete a chemical test by providing a breathe or blood sample to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit for intoxication in the state of Tennessee is .08% or greater. You had the right to refuse to submit to this test, but if you did, your license will be suspended for 1-2 years depending on the other factors in your case. This automatic suspension is the result of the Tennessee implied consent laws, which state that any person operating a motor vehicle in the state has already given their consent for tests that determine their blood alcohol content.
You may also lose your license if you are convicted of the DUI charge. This license suspension will be considered completely separately from the suspension based on a refusal to submit to a chemical test. If your license is suspended, you will have the option to apply for a restricted license. The privileges offered by the restricted license will differ depending on why your license was revoked. You will receive more privileges if your restricted license is the result of a DUI conviction rather than the result of a refusal to submit to a chemical test.
Penalties for a first time DUI offense include fines of at least $350, a 1 year license revocation, required participation in DUI school, and at least 48 hours spent in jail.
The minimum jail time will increase to 7 days if your BAC is .20 or greater. You may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device will require a breathe sample in order to ensure that you are not legally intoxicated before you are able to start your vehicle.
All of these penalties will have a dramatic impact on your lifestyle and that of your family. Contact a reputable DUI lawyer today to review your case and recommend the best action.