Tennessee First DUI Penalties

Tennessee first DUI penalties have become more severe over the last 10 years. Your friends may tell you that a first DUI is “no big deal”, but that is no longer true. Even a TN first DUI can mean jail time and loss of driver’s license. You will also face the possibility of losing your job and having any potential new employer not hire you because of a DUI on your criminal background check.

The best course of action is to get your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving, or have your entire DUI case dismissed. An experienced Tennessee DUI attorney knows how to fight, when to fight, and what evidence to fight. If you try to represent yourself, you may be successful, but the overwhelming odds are you will be convicted of DUI.

As of this year, the current first DUI penalties in Tennessee are:

  • Jail time from 24 hours to 11 months
  • Driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year
  • Court fines between $350 – $1,500
  • Mandatory DUI School
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device (aka IID)

A First DUI Can Mean Jail Time

The above first DUI penalties are the minimum for a TN DUI that did not involve injury or death. If your first DUI involved an accident, a hit and run, or other criminal charges, a top DUI lawyer can be invaluable in reducing your charges. Do not take a Tennessee first DUI lightly. And absolutely do not drink and drive again while your first DUI case is proceeding. A second DUI carries much more severe penalties in Tennessee, such as much more jail time.

A first DUI in Tennessee may be your first exposure to the Tennessee criminal court system. You will be required to attend multiple court dates, and you cannot miss or be late for court, especially if you are under bond from a bail bond company. It is always wise to call your bail bond company to tell them you are attending all required court dates, and update them if your court date gets postponed.

If you fail to appear in court, a bail bondsman will be sent to arrest you. Bail bondsman do not play. You will be tracked down, and you will be brought to jail.