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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > DUI Defense > Basics You Should Know About DUI In Tennessee

Basics You Should Know About DUI In Tennessee


It’s that time of year again – Holiday season is here. And whether you fall in the camp of “holiday decorating before Thanksgiving is a travesty” or you bust out the snow-flocked decor from the attic as soon as the trick or treat bowl runs dry – there is no wrong way to celebrate. Unless you get in the car to drive home after enjoying a few too many of Aunt Jane’s ginger beers at the family get together. Dealing with the fallout of a DUI after a little too much celebrating is not how anyone wants to spend their holiday. While the best solution is to line up a sober designated driver if you know you are going to be drinking, or realize you have had too much to drive, people don’t always make the best decisions when the eggnog is flowing. Accordingly, knowing some key facts about DUI law and punishments is key. In this article we outline a few basic concepts under Tennessee law to help keep you informed as we kick off the Holiday season.

  1. What is a DUI under Tennessee law? Tennessee may hit individuals with a DUI charge if the person is pulled over and determined to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. If you are an underage driver, DUI charges can result from driving with a blood alcohol level as little as .02%. Tennessee recognizes this as the level at which driving could be impaired. (Please note that a DUI may also cover an instance where the individual is under the influence of drugs, though that is not further discussed in this post.)
  2. Can Police legally set up sobriety checkpoints? Yes – but with some caveats. Police are able, under Tennessee law, to set sobriety/DUI checkpoints. However, police do not have blanket, limitless authority to do whatever they want at those checkpoints. Drivers have specific rights if claimed, and Police must follow certain rules.
  3. Is driving under the influence a felony, or a misdemeanor? Generally, Tennessee considers the first three DUI offenses to be misdemeanors. Should a person receive a fourth DUI then that offense would be classified as a Class E felony.
  4. What can I expect After Conviction of a First Offense? Consequences can vary, though you can expect to spend 48 hours in jail, and significantly more time than that after the first offense. Consequences for subsequent offenses will generally be more severe, and can potentially include significantly more jail time, further court costs, and community service hours.
  5. How long does a DUI conviction stay on your record? Tennessee keeps DUI convictions on your record for life. Because of this, you should not expect that the record can be expunged. The only opportunity for expungement is if the incident is dismissed.
  6. Does a DUI show up in a background check? A background check will likely turn up any convictions on your record. As outlined above, a DUI conviction will generally remain on your record for life, so you should expect it to turn up in the course of a background check. However, a dimple charge, without a conviction, may not show up in a background check.

Contact Fort, Holloway & Rogers LLC

There are a great many good strategies people can implement this holiday season in order to avoid a DUI charge entirely. However, if you or a loved one does find yourself in need of legal representation in a DUI charge, trust the experienced Franklin DUI defense attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers LLC. Contact our office today to begin consulting with a seasoned attorney on your case.




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