DUI/ DWI

Driving Under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated

The charge of drunk driving is a criminal offense known in Tennessee as Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") and Driving While Impaired ("DWI").

Our experienced legal team of The Cave Law Firm has the skills necessary to fight for the rights of those accused of drunk driving, DUI, and DWI.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI/DWI, contact The Cave Law Firm today at our toll free number:

1-855-CAVE-LAW ("1-855-228-3529")

The consequences of a Tennessee DUI conviction depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Although a short summation of the charge of DUI is included here, it in no way replaces a consultation with knowledgeable Tennessee attorney.

In general, the offense of Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") in Tennessee makes it a crime to be in physical control of a motor driven vehicle on any public roads while under the influence of any intoxicant and/or the alcohol concentration in the your blood or breath is .08% or more. The fact that the driver is entitled to use a drug under Tennessee law does not constitute a defense to driving under the influence of such drug.

There are several critical factors to consider if you have been pulled over in Tennessee under the suspicion of driving under the influence.

  • Age: The charge of Underage Driving While Impaired can only be applied to those who are charge with drunk driving that are over the age of 16 years but under the age of 21.

  • Field Sobriety Tests ("FSTs"): Amongst several others, tests you can face that are commonly used by law enforcement in Tennessee are the "Walk and Turn" and the "One Legged Stand." These tests applied to the driver determine if the driver is intoxicated and can be charge with DUI. The data gathered through these tests can possibly be used as evidence against the defendant in court.

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PERFORM FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

  • Blood Alcohol Test ("BAT"): Whether by drawing blood at the hospital or via a breathalyzer, you will be presumed to be driving under the influence in Tennessee if the alcohol concentration in your blood or breath is eight-hundredths of one percent (.08 %) or more.

    While you have the right to refuse to submit to blood-alcohol testing, Tennessee has strict consequences for such a refusal. One of which is that you can lose your driving privileges for one year. If you refuse to blow into the Breathalyzer, know that you can lose your driver's license for a year.

    However, under the Implied Consent Law of Tennessee, a blood-alcohol test may not be administered unless conducted at the direction of a law enforcement officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving while under the influence of alcohol, a drug, any other intoxicant or any combination of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants.

  • Enhancement Factors: The penalty for a DUI can be enhanced in Tennessee based upon a number of factors. A non-exhaustive list includes the number of prior DUI convictions, whether a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the offense, and whether an accident occurred with serious bodily injury. Consult knowledgeable and effective representation to protect your legal rights if you have been charged with a DUI.

Many people charged with a DUI or DWI in Tennessee often have a difficult time dealing with criminal law because it is their first ever criminal charge. Nonetheless, a DUI arrest has serious consequences. A person that is convicted of a drunk driving related offense can face significant fees, loss of their driving privileges, and possible incarceration.

The criminal charge of DUI has strict minimum sentences that often result in the following punishments:

1st Offense

The first offense DUI is a misdemeanor crime with a sentence of 11 months and 29 days and a license suspension of one year. The offense has a minimum incarceration period of 48 hours and a fine of no less than $350 but no more than $1,500. Also included in the punishment for first offense DUI is a 24 hour mandatory litter pick-up, Drug and Alcohol assessment. DUI school is a requirement for license reinstatement. Community service may also be ordered by the Court.

If the alcohol concentration in your blood or breath is .20% or more, the minimum jail sentence is 7 days.

If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible to obtain a restricted driver's license.

Vehicle impoundment may not be authorized.

Ignition Interlock Device: The Court may be required to order you to only operate a motor vehicle that is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device if you any of the following apply at the time of the offense:

  • You had a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .15% or more;
  • You were accompanied by a minor under the age of 18;
  • You were involved in a traffic accident that was the result of intoxication;
  • You were in violation of the implied consent law and have a juvenile delinquency conviction within the past 5 years for implied consent, DWI, open container, or reckless driving (that resulted from a reduced DUI).

2nd Offense

The second offense DUI is a misdemeanor crime with a sentence of 11 months and 29 days and a license suspension of two years. The offense has a minimum incarceration period of 45 days and a fine of no less than $600 but no more than $3,500. The punishment for second offense DUI also includes a Drug and Alcohol assessment. DUI school is a requirement for license reinstatement and may be ordered by the court. Community service may also be ordered by the Court.

If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible to obtain a restricted driver's license after one year.

Vehicle impoundment may be authorized.

Ignition Interlock Device: The law in the State of Tennessee presumes that an ignition interlock device will be ordered by the court unless the judge chooses to rule otherwise. However, the device is mandatory if the prior DUI conviction had been within the last 5 years.

3rd Offense

A third offense DUI is a misdemeanor crime with a sentence of 11 months and 29 days and a license suspension from 3 to 10 years. The offense has a minimum incarceration period of 120 days and a fine of no less than $1,100 but no more than $10,000. The punishment for third offense DUI is court ordered Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation. Community service may also be ordered by the Court.

You cannot be eligible to obtain a restricted driver's license.

Vehicle impoundment may be authorized.

Ignition Interlock Device: The law in the State of Tennessee presumes that an ignition interlock device will be ordered by the court unless the judge chooses to rule otherwise. However, the device is mandatory if the prior DUI conviction had been within the last 5 years.

4th Offense and greater

A fourth offense DUI or subsequent conviction is a Class E felony with a sentence of 1 to 6 years and a minimum license suspension of 5 years. The offense has a minimum incarceration period of 150 consecutive days and a fine of not less than $3,000 and not more than $15,000.

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney

Experienced DUI lawyers know what legal strategies work in your particular situation. If you have any questions or would like to speak directly with an experienced DUI attorney regarding your charge of driving under the influence, please do not hesitate to call The Cave Law Firm toll-free at 855-228-3529 for a FREE CONSULTATION. If you prefer, you may submit an inquiry with us on our Contact Us page.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with DUI (drunk driving, DWI), it is very important that you have effective drunk driving defense representation.

Contact the Cave Law Firm today: 855-CAVE-LAW