New DUI law in Tennessee makes four or more DUI offenses felonies punishable by up to twelve years in jail.
Nashville, TN– Plenty of the people who are charged with DUI are going to drink and drive again. It’s a major problem across the U.S. and in Tennessee. A newly enacted DUI law in the Volunteer State is aimed at deterring repeat DUI offenders.
New Tennessee DUI laws for 2017
On January 1st, 2017 two new laws went into effect that made the penalties harsher for repeat DUI offenders and drunk drivers who cause a fatal accident.
The new law elevates the charges for drunk drivers with more than four DUI convictions. Before the law change, a fifth or subsequent DUI conviction was a Class E felony, punishable by one to six years in jail. Now, a person with four or more DUI convictions on their record will be charged with a Class D felony, which is punishable by two to twelve years in jail.
Another law which also took effect January 1st eliminates the option of parole for drunk drivers convicted of causing a fatal accident, Clarkesville Now reports.
What are the penalties for repeat DUI in Tennessee?
If you are convicted of a repeat DUI in Tennessee, you face several legal consequences that can reverberate in your personal and professional life.
For a second DUI conviction, you face: a minimum of 45 days in jail up to one year and 29 days, two-year license revocation, and fines ranging between $600 to $3,500. You may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
For a third DUI conviction, you face: a minimum of 120 days up to 11 months and 29 days, two-year license revocation, and fines ranging between $1,100 to $10,000. Additionally, a judge can order you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
In addition to the jail time and fines, if you are convicted of drunk driving, you will be required to attend an alcohol assessment program and go through a probationary period.
What are my options for avoiding conviction?
If you are facing DUI in Tennessee, you have a few options to fight a conviction and negate some of the consequences you face in the immediate and distance future. You can seek a plea bargain and negotiate for reduced charges or enlist an attorney to develop a defense strategy.
If you want to pursue a plea bargain, we recommend you enlist a defense lawyer to negotiate the best terms. To get a plea bargain, you will be asked to plead guilty for wet reckless or reckless driving in exchange for a lenient sentence.
A DUI charge in Tennessee will remain on your record for at least ten years, so it is wise to fight against your charges in court. USAttorneys can refer you to a DUI lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee to work on your defense and increase your chances of avoiding conviction. Call and set up a consultation with an attorney today and let them decide the best way to resolve your DUI.