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What are the penalties for DUI in Tennessee?

The penalty for DUI in Tennessee can vary depending on the number of DUI convictions a person has received. If an accident is involved the penalties will be higher. In addition, penalties increase if the person charged with DUI has a passenger under age 18 or vehicle assault, vehicle homicide occurs.

When a person receives a DUI conviction in Tennessee they can receive jail time, fines and license revocation. Furthermore, an individual may be ordered by the court to attend a drug and alcohol program. The judge can order an Ignition Interlock Device to be installed at the person's expense as well. Additional costs and consequences may include bail, towing fees, attorney's fees, court costs, license reinstatement fees and higher insurance premiums.

DUI penalties per offense

First offense

A first time DUI offense in Tennessee can result in between 48 hours to 11 months, 29 days jail time, a mandatory fine between $350 and $1,500 and license revocation for one year.

Second offense

A second DUI offense can result in between 45 days to 11 months, 29 days jail time and mandatory fines between $600 and $3,500. A driver's license can be revoked for two years with the possibility of obtaining a restricted license after one year.

Third offense

A third DUI offense can result in between 120 days to 11 month, 29 days jail time and mandatory fines between $1,100 and $10,000. A person can have their license revoked and will not have the option to get a restricted license.

Forth and subsequent offenses

Four or more DUI offenses are considered a Class E felony. A person will receive one year of jail time and must serve at least 150 consecutive days in jail. For four or more DUI offenses, fines are between $3,000 and $15,000. Revocation of license will be for 8 years with no possibility of obtaining a restricted license and the individual's vehicle may be seized.

Penalties for all offenses

Besides the consequences listed above the person is responsible for towing, bail, attorney's fees, court costs, license reinstatement fees and higher insurance premium payments. The judge can order the person to attend drug and alcohol treatment, which the person convicted, of DUI must pays for. The court may also order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device at the individual's expense. In the case of two or more DUI convictions within five years, the Ignition Interlock Device is required for six months after his or her driver's license is reinstated.


Consequences from a DUI conviction can have a long-term effect on a person's life. A DUI will show up on a backgrounds check. This can cause difficulties in get a new job, especially if it is a job that involves driving. It can also cause problems with present employment. If time has to be taken off from work for days spent in court, jail time or community service, employment may be at risk as well. This can also lead to financial problems, quality of life and general well-being.

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Law Office of Sam Byrd
3828 Dayton Blvd
Chattanooga, TN 37415

Phone: 423-954-7949
Toll free: 800-724-5435
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NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Samuel A Byrd