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Blount County criminal defense attorney for DUIA Tennessee DUI conviction can lead to harsh consequences. Even a first offense conviction results in mandatory jail time. Under Tennessee law, anyone who is operating a vehicle and has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher can be found guilty of driving under the influence. Not only can a conviction result in the loss of driving privileges, but it can also have a significant impact on all areas of a person’s life, both personally and professionally. Anyone who has been arrested for DUI should contact a Knoxville criminal defense attorney immediately.

DUI First Offense

Under current law, a driver convicted of a first-offense DUI faces between 48 hours and 11 and 29 days months of mandatory jail time. Their license will be revoked for one year and they will be required by the court to participate in an alcohol and drug treatment program. They will also be required to pay a fine of between $350 and $1,500. When their license is finally reinstated, they will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed at their own expense.

DUI Second Offense

A second-offense DUI conviction results in a minimum of 45 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail and fines of between $600 and $3,500. A loss of license will last for two years. A person must also attend an alcohol and drug treatment program and have an Ignition Interlock Device installed. The court may also order the seizure or forfeiture of their vehicle.

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Knox County criminal defense attorney DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a frighteningly common offense that many Tennesseeans have on their record. Across the country, states have instilled a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit to ensure that drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol are not too intoxicated to drive safely. With a 0.08 percent BAC limit in Tennessee, three to four drinks can place you above the legal limit to drive. In the past few years, Tennessee legislators have noticed a high number of repeat DUI offenders, but there has been a lack of recourse for these repeat offenses. In order to address these sentencing discrepancies, legislators passed House Bill 167 in 2019 after years of legal deliberation.

Looking at Statistics

Legislators included a number of statistics in their HB 167 bill summary, which explains why they believe that these harsher penalties are necessary for repeat offenders with DUI charges. According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, 32.2 percent of all offenders will re-offend within a year of release from their sentence. This appears to be the case for all offenders, not just those with DUI charges. However, the high tendency to re-offend and low chance of harsher sentencing for DUI cases make it likely for those with such charges to drive drunk again in the future. News reports from Fox17 Nashville record the most habitual Tennessee DUI offender had 19 DUI arrests, something that these harsher sentences are hoping to mitigate.

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Anderson County drunk driving defense attorney

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime, regardless of where you live in the United States. Driving with a substantial amount of alcohol in one's system impairs a driver's ability to drive in a safe manner due to delayed response times and altered senses. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there have been 68,886 alcohol-related traffic crashes since 2009 -- and this is just in Tennessee. The law has limited the amount of alcohol legally allowed in a person’s system for this very reason. 

How Much Alcohol Is Considered Illegal?

Those with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more are above this “legal limit” in Tennessee. This number is abstract to most, making it difficult to “calculate” what your BAC is before getting behind the wheel. It is impossible to give an exact formula, since all body types are different. However, one can estimate that for every one drink, your BAC increases by about .02 percent. In other words, many people reach their driving limit at four or five drinks.

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Knox County DUI lawyer

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can result in serious consequences, but so can driving while impaired by marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, or other narcotics. In Tennessee, anyone who drives a motor vehicle has automatically given legal consent to be tested for drugs, alcohol, or both. Drivers always have the option to refuse a test, but that will be treated in much the same way as if the driver had submitted to the test and failed. 

DUI is taken very seriously by law enforcement and the courts of Tennessee. If you stand accused of drugged driving, it is essential you enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for you.

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Knoxville DUI defense lawyerWhile drunk driving is the most common type of DUI faced by Tennessee drivers, a driver can also face criminal charges for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, including marijuana, prescription drugs, or other substances. If you have been accused of driving while impaired, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options for defense and work to have your charges or penalties reduced or dismissed.

How Is Intoxication or Impairment Determined?

In many cases, a person suspected of DUI is pulled over because they were driving erratically. In other cases, a driver may be stopped at a checkpoint, or they may have their blood alcohol tested after getting into an accident. No matter how it comes about, a driver can face some very serious consequences when charged with a DUI. However, a police officer must have probable cause before pulling a driver over, and simply saying that a driver seems to be under the influence is not enough to hold up in court. 

After being arrested for DUI, a driver will typically be subjected to alcohol and/or drug testing. In many cases, either a blood or urine sample will be taken and tested. This type of sample may be collected by any medical professional. Although there will be a legal test administered, the accused party also has the right to have an independent blood or urine sample tested by a licensed medical laboratory of his or her choice.

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