Driving under the influence is a perilous and costly act, posing a serious risk not only to the driver but also to other road users and pedestrians. The potential penalties start with mandatory jail time and escalate from there. If you’re facing a DUI charge, you understand the gravity of this situation. The fallout from such a conviction can dramatically impact your present circumstances and carry lifelong ramifications. While it’s possible to contest a DUI charge on your own, the odds of seeing the charges dropped, reduced, or penalties lessened significantly improve when you engage the services of an experienced Nashville DUI attorney. If you’re confronting a DUI charge, reach out to our team of accomplished DUI lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation. Read on to explore DUI statistics, penalties, and frequently asked questions.
Impaired Driving: A Look at Tennessee DUI Statistics
Each year, Nashville and its surrounding areas witness nearly 500 DUI arrests. Out of more than 65 reported fatal crashes in Nashville, approximately 40% involve an impaired driver. DUI arrests spike during the months of October, March, and May, with Friday nights seeing the highest number of arrests, closely followed by Saturdays. Here are some additional facts related to DUIs in Tennessee:
The latest data from 2018 reveals over 8,000 alcohol-related crashes in Tennessee within a single year.
These crashes resulted in 5,257 injuries.
In the same year, alcohol-impaired drivers caused 380 fatalities.
Penalties for DUI Convictions in Nashville
Even though most DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors, they are often prosecuted more vigorously than other misdemeanor crimes. The penalties are severe and can have long-lasting effects. This is why many individuals charged with a DUI choose to work with an experienced Nashville DUI attorney. Keep in mind that the penalties for a DUI conviction depend on the number of previous convictions and the specific circumstances of the case. Here’s more about the potential penalties for driving under the influence in Nashville:
Jail time: Mandatory jail time ranges from 48 hours to 365 days for a first DUI conviction, increasing with subsequent convictions.
Fines: Fines start at $350 for a first offense and can reach up to $10,000 for four or more convictions.
License Suspension: Whether it’s your first or fifth DUI conviction, your license will be suspended. The duration of the suspension can range from one to ten years, although you may be eligible for a restricted license.
Ignition interlock device: You will be required to install an ignition interlock device (at your own expense), even for a first offense.
Alcohol and Drug Program: You may need to attend and complete a court-ordered program.
Community Service: The court may order community service in some cases.
What to Do If You’re Pulled Over for a DUI
Being pulled over by the police can be unnerving, especially if you’ve consumed alcohol. Here are some key points to remember if you find yourself in this situation, as everything you say or do could be used against you in court:
Avoid self-incrimination: If you’re sure you’re intoxicated, do not confirm this to the officer.
Think twice about a field sobriety test or BAC test: You’re not obligated to perform these tests, but refusal could lead to license suspension, particularly if chemical tests prove you were over the legal limit.
Document the events: After your release, note down all the events that occurred before and during the stop. This will help your Nashville DUI Attorney assess whether proper procedures were followed.
Contact a Nashville DUI Lawyer: If you want to improve your chances of having your charges dropped or reduced, your best option is to hire a seasoned DUI attorney in Nashville.
Nashville DUI FAQ
Can I Drive After a DUI Conviction?
You may be able to drive if you obtain a restricted license, which allows you to drive to work, school, medical appointments, and other vital destinations.
How Will a DUI Affect My Commercial License (CDL)?
A first offense DUI leads to a 1-year suspension of your CDL. A second offense results in a lifetime ban.
Is a DUI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
The first three DUI offenses are usually classified as misdemeanors, while fourth and subsequent convictions are considered felonies. DUI charges involving vehicular homicide, assault, or child endangerment can also be charged as felonies.
Can I Consult My Lawyer Before a BAC or Field Sobriety Test?
You do not have the right to speak with a Nashville DUI attorney prior to a BAC test. However, you should consult with your attorney as soon as possible afterward.
What’s the Difference Between a DWI and a DUI?
In Tennessee, the distinctions are minor. A DWI typically refers to a driver under 21, while a DUI pertains to those over 21 driving while intoxicated.
Working With a Nashville DUI Attorney
Working with an experienced Nashville DUI lawyer can significantly increase your chances of having your charges reduced or dropped, or the penalties minimized. A DUI charge is a criminal offense with serious, lasting penalties. Don’t risk your future—work with a trusted Nashville DUI lawyer. Call us to schedule your free consultation today.