Every year, more than 17,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence. While there has been a decline in the statistics from years past, there continues to be a significant number of impaired drivers on the road. And these numbers are just the ones who get caught. Driving under the influence can lead to severe consequences for you.
If you find yourself facing DUI charges, seek help from a criminal defense attorney in Nashville to help you navigate the legal process.
DUI Laws in Nashville, Tennessee
The law in Tennessee is very specific in what dictates whether someone is driving under the influence. The rules are as follows:
- Blood alcohol concentration must be lower than .08% for motorists and less than .04% for commercial drivers
- Do not drive under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, drugs, or controlled substances that impact the central nervous system and impair response times
These requirements mean that if you get behind the wheel and you are impaired, it is considered unsafe for you to operate a vehicle. And when you choose to do so, you are in direct violation of the laws. If you are pulled over, you could face an arrest and DUI charges.
What to Expect from a DUI Arrest
If you drive impaired and get arrested for a DUI, the penalties will vary. The severity of the penalties depends on whether or not this is your first offense. If you are a repeat offender, the penalties increase. In Nashville, a DUI holds minimum sentencing requirements, and you are likely facing at least some jail time.
Here are the specifics of the penalties:
- 1st offense: Minimum 48 hours in jail, up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1,500
- 2nd offense: Minimum 45 days in jail, up to 1 year in jail, and fines up to $3,500
- 3rd offense: Minimum 120 days in jail, up to 1 year in jail, and fines up to $10,000
- 4th and additional offenses: Minimum 150 days in jail, up to 1 year in jail, and fines up to $15,000
In addition to these court fines and jail time, you may also face additional fines and fees for your driver’s license. Your license will be suspended, and the suspension could last up to 8 years. In some cases, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device.
Typically, a DUI is a misdemeanor, but depending on the situation you may be facing felony charges as well.
Get Legal Counsel Right Away
When you find yourself in a DUI situation, the best thing you can do is find an experienced criminal defense attorney in Nashville. Your attorney will be able to fight to reduce the charges and possibly reduce your punishment as well. When you use someone experienced, they know exactly what to look for and what to request when it’s time to take your case to the judge.
An attorney is the best way to help you reduce your sentence or your charges. You are not in this alone!