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DUI Laws

Penalties Upon Conviction


Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant or Drug
 (Tenn. Code Ann. 55-10-401, et seq)
For purposes of proving a violation under this section, the defendant’s blood/alcohol level must be .08 percent or more OR the defendant must be under the influence of any narcotic drug, marijuana or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system.


PENALTIES UPON CONVICTION:

- Conviction on First Offense
There shall be imposed a fine of not less than three hundred and fifty dollars ($350.00 nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1500.00). The court shall sentence the person to confinement in the county jail or workhouse for not less than forty-eight (48) hours nor more than eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days and, as a condition of Probation, to remove litter from State highways for a period of twenty-four (24) hours.   In addition to the above, the person is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle in the State of Tennessee for one (1) year. In addition to the other penalties set out for a first offense, if at the time of such offense the alcohol concentration in such person is twenty hundredths of one percent (.20%) or more, the minimum period of confinement shall be seven (7) consecutive calendar days rather than forty-eight (48) hours.

- Conviction on Second Offense
There shall be imposed a fine of not less than six hundred dollars ($600.00) nor more than three thousand five hundred dollars ($3500.00), confinement in the county jail or workhouse for not less that forty-five (45) days nor more than eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days, and prohibition from driving a motor vehicle in the State of Tennessee for two (2) years.

- Conviction on Third Offense
There shall be imposed a fine of not less than one thousand one hundred dollars ($1100.00) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00), confinement in the county jail or workhouse for not less than one hundred and twenty (120) days nor more than eleven months and twenty-nine (29) days, and prohibition from driving a motor vehicle in the State of Tennessee for a period of time of six (6) years.

- Conviction on Fourth or Subsequent Offense
There shall be imposed a fine of not less than three thousand dollars ($3000.00) nor more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00), confinement for not less than one hundred and fifty (150) consecutive days , to be served day for day, nor more than the maximum punishment authorized for the appropriate range of a Class E felony, and prohibition from driving a motor vehicle in the State of Tennessee for a period of eight (8) years. For the provisions of the preceding sentence to apply, at least one (1) of the violations of Tenn. Code Ann. 55-10-401 must occur on or after 1 July 1998.
The vehicle used in the commission of a second or subsequent violation of § 55-10-401,or the second or subsequent violation of any combination of § 55-10-401, and a statute in any other state prohibiting driving under the influence of an intoxicant, is subject to seizure and forfeiture.

- Conviction of a DUI Offense within Five years of a previous DUI convictio n
If a person is convicted of a §55-10-401 offense within five years of a previous DUI conviction, the Court shall order such person to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment and receive treatment as appropriate. Unless the Court makes a determination that the person is indigent, the person shall bear the expense of receiving the assessment and treatment. In addition, the court shall order such person to operate only a motor vehicle or motorcycle that has a functioning ignition interlock device for a period of six months after the license revocation period. During the six-month period, all vehicles owned or leased by the person shall have an ignition interlock device installed at such person’s own expense. If the Court finds the person is indigent, monies in the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Fund may be used for the reasonable cost or part of the reasonable cost of the assessment, treatment and ignition interlock device. If expressly authorized by the Court, any person subject to the above provisions, may, in the course of his employment, operate a vehicle provided by his employer without installation of an ignition interlock. The employer shall be notified of such restriction and must maintain proof of such notification in the vehicle.

Restricted motor vehicle license with a prior conviction
The trial judge may order the issuance of a restricted motor vehicle operator's license to any person whose motor vehicle operator's license has been revoked pursuant to § 55-10-403 for a period of two (2) years and who has a prior conviction for DUI or Adult Driving While Impaired in this state or a similar offense in any other jurisdiction. The person shall not be eligible for and the court shall not have the authority to grant the issuance of a restricted motor vehicle operator's license until the expiration of a one (1) year revocation period. If the court orders the issuance of a restricted motor vehicle operator's license, the court shall also order such person to operate only a motor vehicle or motorcycle that is equipped with a functioning interlock device. The court shall also order such device to be installed on all vehicles owned or leased by the person at such person's own expense for the entire period of the restricted license and for a period of six (6) months after the license revocation period has expired.

ADAT treatment fee assesment
In addition to all other fines, fees, costs and punishments, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) shall be assessed for each conviction of § 55-10-401.

Conviction Enhancement
A conviction may be used in determining a defendant’s eligibility to be declared a Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated 55-10-601, et seq., and subject to the restrictions, punishments, and penalties set forth therein. A conviction may be considered in the sentencing for any subsequent criminal offense. Further, a conviction for the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant committed in another state shall be used to enhance the punishment for a violation of § 55-10-401 in this state.
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General Sessions Judges

City County Building
400 Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

Phone: 865-215-2370
Fax: 865-215-2403

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Department Email
All Courts