What are The DUI Laws in Nashville?
The number of people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in 2022 was 17,794, which is a significant decline from 19,656 in 2021. While the number of DUI arrests has decreased, people are still driving while drunk or drugged. Drunk or drugged driving is an immensely serious offense that can lead to years in prison, revocation or suspension of your license, hefty fines, and serious collateral consequences.
Understanding Nashville DUI Laws
Under the DUI laws in Tennessee, you cannot drive or physically control a motor vehicle if:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. The law is more stringent for commercial drivers, who can be arrested for DUI with a .04% BAC.
- You are under the influence of drugs, marijuana, any intoxicant, or controlled substance analog that impacts your central nervous system.
Being under the influence means a person is impaired to the extent that they cannot operate a vehicle safely. You may face a charge of DUI per se, regardless of your impairment level, if your BAC is higher than the legal limit. It is, however, crucial to note that the alcohol volume needed to reach the illegal BAC limits vary widely based on a person’s body size and gender and the specific type of alcohol they consumed.
What Happens If You Get Arrested for DUI in Nashville?
The penalties you can face for a DUI conviction in Nashville will differ based on whether it’s your first DUI offense or you’re a repeat DUI offender. Unlike most crimes, DUIs carry mandatory minimum punishments, meaning you must serve at least that must time in jail if convicted:
- First DUI Offense – Up to $1,500 in fines and 11 months and 29 days in jail, with a minimum of 48 hours in jail
- Second DUI Offense – Up to $3,500 in fines and jail time of 11 months and 29 days, with a minimum of 45 days in jail
- Third DUI Offense – Up to $10,000 in fines and 11 months and 29 days of jail time, with a minimum of 120 days in jail.
- Fourth or Subsequent DUI Offense – Up to $15,000 in fines and a year in jail, with a minimum sentence of 150 days
Additionally, you may face license suspension for one up to eight years based on whether you have previous DUI convictions. You may also need to pay to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID), go to alcohol or drug treatment classes, and pay restitution to anyone who was injured or received property damage.
If you have .20% BAC or higher at the time of your arrest, be prepared for harsher penalties. Also, under the state’s implied consent law, your license may be revoked for a year or two if you fuse to take a breath test.
Most DUI offenses in TN are charged as misdemeanors. However, if it’s your fourth DUI or subsequent offense or you committed DUI-related offenses, including vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, child endangerment, or aggravated vehicular assault, you could be charged with a felony.
Seek Legal Counsel From a Nashville DUI Defense Attorney Today
Facing a DUI charge doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get a conviction. To explore your legal options and how you can fight a DUI charge, contact the Nashville DUI defense attorney right away. Schedule your free case review with our Nashville DUI defense attorney by calling 615-256-6666 or contacting us online.