A second-offense DUI (driving under the influence) conviction in Tennessee generally results in a few weeks in jail, a fine, and driver’s license suspension. While lots of factors can affect the sentencing, this article discusses the minimum and maximum possible outcomes of a second DUI in Tennessee.
A DUI is considered a second offense in Tennessee if the driver has only one prior DUI conviction within the last ten years. However, in deciding the appropriate sentence for a second offender, the judge can consider any prior DUIs that occurred within 20 years of the present offense. Additional factors—such as injury accidents and deaths—can change penalties, but ultimately, it will be up to the judge to determine the actual fines and jail time within the following parameters.
Jail time. A second-offense DUI requires a minimum of 45 days in jail, with a possible maximum of 11 months, 29 days. If the driver had a passenger under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the judge will impose an additional 30 days mandatory jail (75 days total).
The judge can permit the convicted motorist to serve the jail time under work-release. Work-release allows the person to continue working during the day if he or she returns to the jail each day after work.
Highway cleanup. Once the driver completes the minimum jail time, the judge can order the driver to perform highway cleanup instead of or in addition to the other penalties.
Probation. After the minimum jail sentence is served, the judge may suspend the remaining jail term and place the driver on probation. Typically, the driver must complete a substance abuse assessment and rehabilitation program. The offender might also be required to wear an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet.
Fines. A person who’s convicted of a second DUI must pay a fine of $600 to $3,500.
In addition to the other penalties, second offenders also face a two-year license suspension.
Restricted license. Judges are permitted to grant a driver a temporary restricted license. With a restricted license, the motorist can drive for work, school, or treatment purposes.
Ignition interlock device. The judge will also require that the motorist use an ignition interlock device (IID) while driving on a restricted license.
Forfeiture. Even if a driver’s license is suspended, the judge can also order the forfeiture of the vehicle used in the commission of the DUI.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Tennessee, get in contact with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. DUI law is constantly changing and every case is unique. A qualified DUI attorney can tell you how the law applies to your case and help you decide how best to handle your situation.