According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 30 people die each day as a result of a drunk driving-related crash. In addition to the fatalities, injuries, and damages, drunk-driving crashes cost well over $40 billion dollars per year. It goes without saying that driving while intoxicated can be devastating for not only the driver but also pedestrians, passengers, and other drivers on the road. Furthermore, if you have been charged with a DUI, there are plenty of other repercussions to worry about. First and foremost, you will certainly go to jail. If convicted, you can expect a litany of additional repercussions and fines to be levied against you. With this in mind, we recognize that DUI arrests are a common occurrence. In fact, more than 4 million U.S. citizens openly admit to driving after they have been drinking. It is important that you know what to do, what expectations to have, and how to find an experienced Knoxville DUI lawyer who can potentially get your charges dropped or reduced, or minimize the penalties. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a Knoxville DUI Attorney as soon as you can.
DUI Statistics to Know
In recent years, the rate of instances of those driving under the influence has declined on a national scale. However, there are still a large number of individuals who continue to drink and drive. Learn more about the perils of driving under the influence below.
- More than 10,000 people die each year in drunk-driving crashes.
- In, 2017, 1,837 people were killed in an accident where the driver had a BAC of between .01 and .07 which is lower than the national threshold of .08 for DUI charges.
- The U.S. is ranked third in the world for drunk driving.
- One out of every five passenger deaths is drunk-driving related.
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol are 11 times more likely to die in a car accident compared to drivers that are sober.
- There are well over 5,000 alcohol-impaired crashed in Tennessee each year.
What to do if You Are Arrested For a DUI in Knoxville
If you have been pulled over by law enforcement after drinking, it is important to know what to do as well as what to expect. Unfortunately, in Tennesse, you will not be permitted to call a Knoxville DUI attorney before you agree to or refuse to take a field sobriety test or chemical test and are subject to arrest. Having knowledge of what to do in the case that you are suspected of driving under the influence before you get pulled over is imperative.
- Be respectful of the police officer’s requests. Do not incriminate yourself and don’t lie under any circumstances. Whatever you say can be used against you in court, and if you’re caught lying, it can be an indication of guilt. If you are asked a question that you feel would be incriminating (i.e. “How many drinks have you had tonight?” “Were you at a bar?”) politely decline to answer.
- Take the Chemical Test (breathalyzer): If you are not comfortable with taking a field sobriety test, you may refuse without consequence. Furthermore, you do not have to take a breathalyzer test either. However, if you refuse a breath test then your license will be automatically suspended for one year (implied consent). Since the police can get a warrant for a forced blood draw at the police station, in most scenarios it is more advantageous to agree to the on-spot breathalyzer. They have a much larger margin of error and can potentially be ruled out in court. An experienced Knoxville DUI Lawyer understands that blood draws are much more accurate and difficult to defend against.
- Contact a DUI Lawyer in Knoxville. You can certainly defend yourself. However, you greatly increase your chances of a more favorable outcome when you enlist the services of a reputable DUI attorney in Knoxville.
Penalties For a DUI Conviction in Knoxville
Though a DUI conviction is classified as a misdemeanor, it is typically prosecuted much more vigorously than most misdemeanor charges. Furthermore, a DUI conviction carries with it severe consequences. It should be noted that if you are convicted of a DUI with a passenger who is under 18 or you cause an accident or injuries while driving under the influence, the penalties will likely be more severe. Learn more about the potential penalties of a DUI conviction in Knoxville.
- Jail Time: Mandatory jail time is required for anyone who is charged with a DUI. You can expect to be incarcerated anywhere from 48 hours to 365 days (depending on how may past DUI convictions you have on your record).
- License Suspension: Your license can be suspended anywhere from one to six years. You may apply for a restricted license if you are eligible.
- Ignition Interlock Device: Those convicted of a DUI in Knoxville are required to install an ignition interlock device in their car. At their own expense.
- Fines: You can expect to pay between $350 (1st Offense) to $10,000 (4th and subsequent offenses) in fines.
- Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program: You will have to attend and complete a court-ordered program.
Why It’s Important to Work With a Knoxville DUI Attorney
DUI charges are nothing to take lightly. They will not only have an immediate effect on your daily existence but will carry with it consequences that can span your lifetime. The average cost of a first offense DUI charge is nearly $5,000. That’s just the first offense. Working with a proven Knoxville DUI attorney can offer you the best chances of having your charges dropped, reduced, or potentially lessen some of the penalties. An experienced DUI attorney in Knoxville understands how to recognize improper procedures, weak evidence, and denied rights. Furthermore, it is important to work with an attorney who is adept at negotiating with the prosecution. If you have been charged with a DUI offense in the State of Tennessee, it can stay on your criminal record for life. This can hinder your chances of being gainfully employed, living in certain communities, or working in some occupations. Ensure that you give yourself the best chance of a favorable outcome in your case by contacting a proven Knoxville DUI Lawyer today.