Driving while under the influence is dangerous and costly. Not only for the driver but for others on the road, as well as pedestrians. Potential penalties begin with a mandatory jail sentence and snowball from there. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, you undoubtedly understand the serious nature of this charge. The repercussions of such a conviction can greatly affect your present life as well as carry with it life long negative implications. It is certainly possible to fight a DUI charge by yourself. However, you can greatly increase the likelihood of the charges being dropped, reduced, or potentially having some of the penalties decreased by working with an experienced DUI attorney in Nashville. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, give our team of proven DUI lawyers a call to schedule a free initial consultation with our team. Learn more about DUI statistics, penalties, and frequently asked questions below.
Tennessee DUI Statistics
In the Nashville and surrounding areas alone, there are nearly 500 DUI arrests made each year. Of the more than 65 fatal crashes reported in Nashville, nearly 40% involved an impaired driver. The most common months for DUI arrests are October, March, and May. Friday nights incur the most DUI arrests, closely followed by Saturdays. Listed below are a few more pertinent facts related to DUIs in Tennessee.
- The latest data (2018) shows that slightly over 8,000 crashes in Tennessee in the course of a year were alcohol-related.
- Of those crashes, there were 5,257 injuries.
- In the same year, 380 fatalities occurred as a result of alcohol-impaired drivers.
Penalties For DUI Convictions in Nashville
Though most DUI offenses are misdemeanors, they are typically prosecuted much more vigorously than typical misdemeanor crimes. The penalties are stiff and long-lasting in many cases. This is why many of those charged with a DUI opt to work with an experienced Nashville DUI attorney. It should be noted that penalties levied against those convicted of a DUI will depend on the number of times that they have been convicted of the offense in addition to the specific circumstances of their case. Learn more about the potential penalties of driving while under the influence in Nashville.
- Jail time: Jail time is mandatory. It can range anywhere from 48 hours to 365 days in jail for your first DUI conviction and will increase from there with multiple convictions. If convicted of a DUI, there is no way to get around this penalty.
- Fines: Fines begin at $350 (first offense) and can go as high as $10,000 for four or more convictions.
- License Suspension: Whether it is your first time being convicted of a DUI or your fifth, your license will be suspended. It is just a matter of how long. It can range anywhere from one-year to 10-years. However, you may be eligible for a restricted license. Speak with your Nashville DUI lawyer for more information.
- Ignition interlock device: Even on your first offense, you will be mandated to install an ignition interlock device (at your own expense).
- Alcohol and Drug Program: You will likely have to attend and complete a court-ordered program.
- Community Service: In some cases, community service may be ordered by the court.
What to do if Pulled Over For a DUI
Being pulled over by the police at any time can be scary. Being pulled over after you have had a few drinks can be terrifying. It is important to remember a few things if you find yourself in this precarious situation. Remember, everything you do or say can be held against you in the court of law.
- Do not incriminate yourself: If you are certain that you are drunk, do not tell the officer that this is the case (though they may already suspect it).
- Think carefully about performing a field sobriety test or agreeing to a BAC test: You do not have to perform a field sobriety test or a BAC. However, it may come with repercussions like a license suspension (especially if chemical test prove that you were indeed over the legal limit). If you refuse, the police will likely force a blood draw (with a warrant) at the station. These are much more accurate and harder to dispute in court.
- After your release, write down all events that occurred before and during the stop: This information will help your Nashville DUI Attorney in determining if the correct procedures were followed.
- Contact a Nashville DUI Lawyer: If you would like to increase the odds of having your charges dropped or reduced, your best bet is to work with a proven DUI attorney in Nashville.
Nashville DUI FAQ
Can I Drive My Car After a DUI Conviction?
You can drive your car if you are approved for a restricted license. You are only eligible for a restricted license under certain conditions. It will allow you to drive to work, school, medical appointments, and a few other vitally important destinations.
How Will a DUI Effect My Commercial License (CDL)?
Your CDL will automatically be suspended for 1-year if convicted of a first offense DUI. If you are convicted of a 2nd offense, you will not be able to hold a CDL for the rest of your life.
Is a DUI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
The first three offenses are typically considered misdemeanor charges. Fourth convictions and beyond are considered felonies. If a DUI involves vehicular homicide, assault, or child endangerment, it can also be charged as a felony.
Can I talk to my Lawyer before a BAC or field sobriety test?
Unfortunately, you do not have the right to consult with a Nashville DUI attorney prior to being tested for BAC. However, it is recommended that you immediately consult with your attorney as soon as you can.
What’s The Difference Between a DWI and a DUI?
In Tennessee, the differences are negligible. A DWI typically refers to someone under the age of 21 and a DUI refers to an individual over the age of 21 that is driving while intoxicated.
Working With a Nashville DUI Attorney
It is clear that working with an experienced DUI lawyer in Nashville can significantly increase your chances of having your charges reduced or dropped. In some cases, the penalties may be reduced. If you are charged with a DUI, it is a criminal charge. It carries with it real penalties that can affect you for the rest of your life. Do not gamble with your chances. Work with a proven Nashville DUI lawyer. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.