DUI Law2018-09-08T07:22:01+00:00


Tennessee has some of the most stringent DUI penalties in America.

The penalties increase based on the number of offenses.

First Offense:

Following the first DUI offense, the driver will have their license revoked for a period of one year. There is a mandatory minimum jail term of 48 hours, although this rises to 7 days if the offender’s blood alcohol level is 0.20% or higher.

Second Offense:

If you are charged with a DUI for the second time, there is a mandatory custodial sentence of 45 days and a minimum fine of $600. You will also have your driving license revoked for 2 years.

Third Offense:

Third timer offenders receive a mandatory sentence of 120 days in jail with a minimum fine of $1100. A 6 to 10-year license revocation can also be applied.

Fourth Offense:

Upon the fourth DUI offense, the charge automatically becomes Felony DUI which carries a minimum 150-day jail sentence along with a minimum fine of $300. This also has an 8-year license revocation with no availability of a restricted license.

Any DUI conviction in Tennessee will also result in a substantial increase in auto insurance premiums.

In addition to the basic penalties listed, those who have been charged with two or more DUI offenses may also be given additional consequences. These include the following:

  • Rehabilitation Program: A judge may require you to attend a rehabilitation program at an approved alcohol treatment center following a subsequent DUI conviction.
  • Interlock Device: If you have had a prior DUI conviction within the past 5 years, you will likely be required to have an interlock device fitted to your vehicle. This requires you to blow into the device before starting the vehicle and at periodic times while driving. It is required that your blood alcohol concentration registers below a specified amount to be allowed to start the vehicle. This usually ranges from 0.02% to 0.05%. The cost of this device is the responsibility of the offender.
  • Vehicle Forfeiture: Following a subsequent DUI offense, the vehicle used is automatically eligible for seizure and forfeiture by the Tennessee Department of Safety.
  • Restitution: A judge can also order you to pay restitution to any person harmed as a result of your DUI.
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