Any drunk driving arrest and conviction can have long-term consequences on the life of the affected individual. This can be especially true of the person in question is under the age of 21 when their alleged drunk driving arrest takes place. Tennessee has in place strict laws that can prevent young alleged drunk drivers from exercising their driving privileges and imposing upon them other penalties for their purported conduct.
For example, Tennessee has enacted a "use/lose" law. Laws of this type generally suspend the driving privileges of young drivers who are caught trying to buy or consume alcohol before they turn 21. To this end, the state finds underage drinking on its own punishable regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator was attempting to drive or not.
However, if a young driver is stopped on suspicion of driving drunk and they are arrested and convicted, their penalties can include the loss of their license for a year and a fine. Subsequent arrests and convictions may be punished more harshly and the blood alcohol concentration standard for intoxication of an underage driver is lower than that of a driver who is at least 21 years of age.
Underage drunk driving convictions can stay on a young person's record and may limit their future academic and employment opportunities. It can be hard to get started in life as an adult with such a mark on one's record, and for this reason defending one's self against underage drunk driving charges can be an important step in preserving one's future.