In the state of Tennessee, drivers can be arrested for Tennessee DUI in one of two ways. If your driving appears to be impaired, the officer who pulls you over can arrest you for DUI, even without a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. In fact, if the officer can prove in court that you were driving as though impaired, you can be convicted no matter what the level of alcohol in your system was. Impairment can be from either alcohol or drugs. In Tennessee, you can be arrested for DUI even if the drugs in your system were prescribed by your doctor if they are impairing your driving ability.
The other way you can be arrested for a DUI in Tennessee is based on your BAC test. If your blood tests .08% or higher, you are guilty of DUI under Tennessee's per se law. Even if you are driving safely, you will be convicted of a Tennessee DUI infraction based on BAC test results.DUI Arrests in Tennessee
After your arrest, you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. You have the right to refuse this test, but doing so will automatically cause you to lose your license, no matter what the results of your court case are. When you are arrested for DUI in Tennessee, you will face a day in court. During your court case, the prosecution will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that either your blood alcohol content was .08% or higher, or that your driving pattern indicated that you were not in control of the vehicle while on the road. You will want to work with a qualified DUI attorney when you face your court case, because your attorney will be able to help you show reasonable doubt about your conviction.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are convicted of a Tennessee DUI offense, there are certain consequences you will face. Under Tennessee law, first time DUI offenders must face the following:
If you have another DUI conviction on your record in the past 10 years, you will face stricter consequences.License Suspensions for Tennessee DUI
Besides paying money and spending some time in jail, a Tennessee DUI conviction also requires you to give up your right to drive. The license suspension times for DUI convictions are as follows:
If your conviction is your first within 10 years, you can apply for a restricted license at the time of your conviction. Your attorney will help you file the paperwork for this application. This license costs $67 and requires an order from your judge.Insurance Consequences
Before you can get a restricted license, you will have to show proof of insurance. However, this may become difficult, because your insurance company may choose to drop your coverage after your DUI conviction. If your insurance carrier does not drop your coverage, you will find that your rates increase. Your family members will also have to pay higher rates for their insurance policy as a result of your DUI conviction if they are on your policy.