Being arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be scary. Tennessee law carries stiff penalties for DUI, especially if you are a minor or if you have injured someone while driving impaired.
What is even more frightening is being charged with DUI a second time. Harsher penalties may follow a second conviction, so it is more important than ever to have someone knowledgeable and experienced in your corner. If you are facing a second DUI charge, you are sure to have questions. Here is a quick overview of what you may expect.
A second DUI conviction carries a minimum sentence of 45 days in jail; the maximum sentence is 11 months and 29 days (in other words, a year minus one day). If you had a minor passenger in the vehicle at the time of arrest, the judge can add another 30 days. A judge may allow you to work your regular hours and return to jail as soon as you are off work, but work-release is solely at the judge’s discretion.
A second DUI conviction involves mandatory fines ranging from $600-$3,500. Additional costs may include an ignition interlock device, which involves an initial purchase and a monthly fee for calibration and monitoring. Once installed in your car, this instrument measures your blood alcohol content before allowing the vehicle to start. A judge may also order you to pay restitution to any person who has suffered a loss due to your driving.
Loss of time and money are a huge part of the DUI penalty, but there are other difficulties, as well. As part of your sentence, you must complete an alcohol and drug treatment program. You may have your vehicle confiscated, and you can lose your driver’s license for up to two years. Upon reinstatement, your license may have restrictions such as limiting your travel to work, school and home.
Obviously, the proper course of action is to prevent DUI convictions from the start. Never drive while impaired; and if you get arrested, know your rights.