Alcohol-related crashes have steadily decreased since 2012, from 7,368 to 5,796 in 2018. Although, driving while under the influence is still extremely common, it can affect you for the rest of your life. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, the consequences given by the court are not forgiving in the slightest. That is why you need an aggressive Farragut and Knoxville DUI attorney by your side to fight for your rights through every step of the process.
In a few ways, DUIs and DWis are very similar, depending on what state you live in. However, there are key differences between the two in Tennessee. DUI, or driving under the influence, means someone 21 years or older was caught operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is given to underaged drivers found to be under the influence. If you’re an adult but still under the drinking age from 18-21, you may be charged with either a DUI or DWI, or both. If you’re charged with both, you could possibly be punished for both, which is why you should contact a criminal defense attorney in the Farragut and Knoxville, Tennessee, area immediately.
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
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.
A criminal defense attorney can help you seek justice with your case. If you’re in the Knoxville or Farragut areas and need representation for your DUI or DWI charge, contact the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed. Our Attorneys' knowledge and legal guidance will be a useful asset for your case.
Contact The Law Office of Joshua S. Reed today to schedule a consultation, your future is counting on it.