The penalties for a DUI conviction in Tennessee differ according to the offense charged, and the severity of the penalties increase at each level of offense. Most of the DUI charges are Class A misdemeanors. However, the penalties for a DUI conviction are more stringent than other misdemeanor offenses. All DUI offense convictions require a minimum mandatory amount of jail time.

First Offense

  • 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days in the county jail or workhouse
    • Minimum mandatory 48 hours
    • If BAC is 0.20% or higher, minimum mandatory jail time is 7 consecutive calendar days
  • Fine of $350.00 to $1,500.00
  • 24 hours of litter pick-up
  • Enrollment in a court approved DUI education course
  • Prohibited from driving a motor vehicle for 1 year

Second Offense

  • 45 days to 11 months and 29 days in the county jail or workhouse
    • Minimum mandatory 45 days
  • Fine of $600.00 to $3,500.00
  • Prohibition from driving a motor vehicle for 2 years
  • Vehicle subject to seizure and forfeiture

Third Offense

  • 120 days to 11 months and 29 days in the county jail or workhouse
    • Minimum mandatory 120 days
  • Fine of $1,100.00 to $10,000.00
  • Prohibition from driving a motor vehicle for a period of 6 years
  • Vehicle subject to seizure and forfeiture

Fourth or Subsequent

  • Offense becomes a felony
  • One to six years imprisonment
    • Minimum mandatory 150 consecutive days
  • Fine of $3,000.00 to $15,000.00
  • Prohibition from driving a motor vehicle for 8 years
  • Vehicle subject to seizure and forfeiture

Conviction for DUI Within 5 Years of a Prior DUI Conviction:

  • The Court will order the individual to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment and follow all treatment recommendations, at the expense of the individual
  • Can only operate a vehicle with a functioning Ignition Interlock Device for a period of 6 months after the license revocation
  • Prior convictions in another state shall be used

Aside from the Court mandated penalties for a DUI conviction, there are numerous other additional consequences that are a direct result of a conviction.  Some of them are as follows:

  • Requirement of proof of special insurance coverage (commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance)
  • Could affect a professional licensing or employment qualifications (ex: nurses, security sensitive positions)
  • Could affect the ability to obtain future employment
  • Could affect current or future educational program admission and/or attendance (college, graduate programs, student loans, etc.)
  • Restrictions on ability to possess or maintain a firearm
  • Restrictions on ability to rent a vehicle

Please note that the penalties outlined are merely a guide, and this information is only meant to be a summary.  Always consult with a qualified attorney about the specific facts and circumstances applicable to your situation.