Punishments & Penalties for Driving Impaired
Penalties for DWIs are less harsh than those for DUIs because of the age of the accused. Regardless of your age, you can be punished in several ways depending on your age, blood alcohol content, and more.
Drinking & Driving Over 21
DUI convictions for those over 21 are much more complex to decide from and harsher to those that are found guilty. When convicted, you will be responsible for the installation expenses of an Ignition Interlock Device and court-ordered alcohol and drug treatment. Below are additional punishments you could receive for your first and second offenses in Tennessee.
- 48 hours - one year in jail
- Revoked license for one year
- Fines between $350 and $1,500
- 45 days - one year in jail
- Revoked license for two years
- Fines between $600 and $3,500
- Possible vehicle seizure or forfeiture
Underage Drinking & Driving
Those who are younger than 21 that were driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or more could face the same consequences as someone of legal drinking age through a standard DUI conviction. That decision will be made by the prosecutor. However, you could also be punished if your BAC is less than that. An underage DUI conviction is relevant if you were caught driving with a BAC between .02% and .08%.
Your underage drinking and driving charge in Tennessee cannot result in jail time, though you will be given alternative penalties. Among these are community service time, a fine of $250, and license suspension. Those convicted are not eligible to apply for a restricted driver’s license.
Once you have reached your fourth offense, your crime will be considered a Class E Felony and you’ll be given a minimum of one year in jail, up to $15,000 in fines, and much more. Additionally, if you hurt, killed, or otherwise endangered another driver or passenger, you can face additional penalties, sentences, and fines.