Facing a DUI charge in Knoxville? You’re not alone. Every day, about 30 people lose their lives to drunk driving accidents, costing over $40 billion annually.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you’re likely grappling with the potential consequences: mandatory jail time, hefty fines, and a slew of additional penalties. But remember, you have options. With the guidance of an experienced Knoxville DUI attorney, you could significantly improve your chances of getting your charges dropped or reduced.
Don’t let a DUI charge dictate your future. Reach out to a Knoxville DUI attorney today and take the first step toward a more favorable outcome.
Impaired Driving: A Snapshot of DUI Statistics
While the instances of drunk driving have seen a national decrease in recent years, a considerable number of individuals continue to drink and drive. Delve deeper into the alarming statistics of driving under the influence below:
- Over 10,000 people lose their lives annually in drunk-driving crashes.
- In 2017, 1,837 individuals were killed in accidents where the driver had a BAC of between .01 and .07, lower than the .08 national threshold for DUI charges.
- The U.S. ranks third worldwide for drunk driving.
- One in five passenger deaths is related to drunk driving.
- Alcohol-impaired drivers are 11 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident compared to sober drivers.
- Over 5,000 alcohol-impaired crashes occur each year in Tennessee.
What to Do If You’re Arrested for a DUI in Knoxville
If law enforcement pulls you over after you’ve been drinking, it’s critical to know how to act and what to expect. Regrettably, Tennessee law does not permit you to contact a Knoxville DUI attorney before deciding whether to take a field sobriety or chemical test, and you may be subject to arrest. Here are some guidelines:
Always be respectful to the police officer, but avoid self-incrimination and lying. Anything you say can be used against you in court, and lying may be construed as a sign of guilt.
Take the Chemical Test (Breathalyzer): While you can refuse field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, refusal can lead to an automatic one-year license suspension. Since police can obtain a warrant for a forced blood draw at the police station, agreeing to an on-the-spot breathalyzer can be advantageous as these tests have a wider margin of error and can potentially be dismissed in court.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Knoxville: While you can certainly defend yourself, enlisting the services of a reputable DUI attorney in Knoxville can significantly improve your chances of a more favorable outcome.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Knoxville
Even though most DUI convictions are classified as misdemeanors, they are typically prosecuted more aggressively than most misdemeanor offenses. The penalties can be severe and long-lasting, especially if there are aggravating factors such as a passenger under 18 or causing an accident or injuries while driving under the influence. Here’s what you can expect:
Jail Time: Mandatory jail time ranges from 48 hours to 365 days, depending on prior DUI convictions.
License Suspension: Your license can be suspended for one to six years, though you may apply for a restricted license if eligible.
Ignition Interlock Device: Convicted individuals are required to install an ignition interlock device in their car at their own expense.
Fines: Fines range from $350 for a first offense to $10,000 for a fourth or subsequent offense.
Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program: Completion of a court-ordered program is typically required.
Importance of Working With a Knoxville DUI Attorney
A DUI charge is a serious matter with immediate and long-term consequences. The average cost of a first offense DUI is nearly $5,000, and costs rise with subsequent offenses. Collaborating with a skilled Knoxville DUI attorney offers you the best chance of seeing your charges dropped, reduced, or penalties lessened. An experienced DUI attorney can identify improper procedures, weak evidence, and rights violations. It’s also essential to work with an attorney skilled at negotiating with the prosecution. A DUI offense in Tennessee can remain on your criminal record for life, potentially affecting employment prospects, housing options, and certain professional opportunities. Don’t gamble with your future. Contact a skilled Knoxville DUI lawyer today and give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome.