DUI in Tennessee – Third Strike and Your Out for 5 Years
Effective July 1, 2011, DUI offenders have it tougher.
The State of Tennessee has not only removed DUI from the list of criminal offenses eligible for judicial diversion, but have also toughened the penalties as well. Now if you are convicted of a third offense of DUI then you face a minimum of five (5) years suspension of driving privileges instead of three (3) years under former law.
More changes in Tennessee DUI laws
The new Tennessee law also removed an obstacle which prevented the court from issuing a restricted drivers license to a person who refused a breathalyzer test or blood test if the driver had not been advised of the consequences of refusal. In other words the court now has discretion to issue a restricted license under the “implied consent” law, even if the driver was not informed of the consequences of refusing either test. The court now also has the discretion to require such a driver to operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device.
[important]Tennessee Implied Consent: Under Tennessee law if you operate a motor vehicle on Tennessee roads or highways you are presumed to have consented to Blood Alcohol testing – either breathalyzer or blood test. Failure to submit to testing is a criminal offense which can result in suspension of drivers license and other penalties. [/important]
Tennessee’s trend of tougher DUI legislation is joined by Alabama which has proposed legislation which creates a criminal charge of “Aggravated DUI”, and Washington State which passed tougher DUI laws to be effective in September 2011. With all of the tougher penalties for DUI offenses in Tennessee, it is even more imperative that a person charged with DUI seek representation of an experienced DUI attorney.