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What happens if you're convicted of drunk driving in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, being charged with a DUI can threaten to change your life forever. If you're driving dangerously, a police officer can pull you over and request a breath sample. The state implied consent law allows the police to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on request.

In 2012, the no-refusal law was passed. This means that officials can seek out search warrants if they believe that you are intoxicated. That warrant gives them the right to take your blood for the purposes of determining your BAC.

If you are arrested, it's important to contact your attorney right away. The arrest itself has few consequences, but a conviction can result in severe penalties. For example, if you are convicted and want to carry an ID until you can get your license back, the law requires that the ID indicates that you've been a DUI offender. Additionally, the law requires you to be part of a litter pick-up crew for 24 hours over the course of three shifts. While community service is relatively common, you'd also have to wear a vest or clothing that states that you are a drunk driver.

Of course, there are also fines that you could face. For a first-offense conviction, you face fines of up to $1,500 and can lose your license for a year. You must spend 48 hours in jail if your BAC is under .2 percent, but you must spend a week in jail if it's over that limit.

These are just a few of the many penalties you face upon conviction. Your attorney can help you fight the charges, so you can get back to living your normal life.

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, "Tennessee Comprehensive Driver License Manual," accessed June 09, 2017

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