It is true that, here in Tennessee, a person accused of DUI can face harsher potential penalties if they have previous DUI convictions. However, this does not mean that those who are facing DUI allegations who have no past DUI convictions are not in a serious situation. A conviction on a first-offense DUI in the state still carries penalties that can affect a person in some very fundamental and deep ways. Today, we will be focusing on one of these penalties: jail time.
In Tennessee, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence for a first-offense DUI. What the length of this minimum is depends on what the driver's blood alcohol level at the time of the offense was determined to be.
Generally, the mandatory minimum when it comes to jail time for drivers who are convicted on a first-offense DUI is 48 hours. However, the mandatory minimum will be higher if their blood alcohol level was found to be at 0.20 or higher. Specifically, if it was, the mandatory minimum jumps to 7 consecutive days.
Now, there is also an upper limit to jail sentences for first-offense DUI convictions in Tennessee. Specifically, the max jail sentence for such a conviction is 11 months and 29 days.
Thus, generally, if a person is found guilty of a first-offense DUI here in Tennessee, they will receive a jail sentence somewhere within the above-mentioned range. Having to serve jail time can impact a wide range of different things for a person.
As this underscores, having strong and skilled legal representation to help with mounting a defense can be quite important when a person is facing a first DUI allegation in Tennessee.
Source: Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, "DUI Offenses," Accessed May 4, 2015