How Much Will A DUI Actually Cost You? Take A Look At All Of The Penalties And Fees In The State Of Tennessee


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Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol in the State of Tennessee is a serious offense that can carry serious consequences. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you could face criminal penalties that can affect both your livelihood and your bank account. Read on to find out how much a DUI can cost you when all is said and done.

Everybody makes mistakes but when that mistake involves drinking/doing drugs and driving in Tennessee, the State wants to make sure it is a mistake you will never make again. The penalties for a DUI/DWI in the Volunteer State are substantial. Not only will you have your license suspended, you could also face criminal charges in court. While both of those consequences are severe and fairly well-known, the exorbitant costs that come with a DUI are lesser known but just as severe.

The truth of the matter is that getting charged with a DUI isn't as simple as just going to court and paying some fines. In Tennessee, a DUI is defined as driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08-percent; however, depending on the circumstances, you could receive penalties if you're BAC is less than .08-percent. This is just one of the many reasons why hiring a DUI attorney is paramount. A lawyer who specifically handles DUI cases in the State of Tennessee is able to navigate through all of the fine print when it comes to the law as well as work toward reducing fines and criminal penalties if not having your case dismissed or you found not guilty altogether. The penalties are substantial:

  • For a 1st offense, you may face:
    • 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days in jail.
    • A fine of $350 to $1,500
    • A driver's license suspension/revocation of 1 year.
    • Court and administrative costs of up to $4,900.
  • For a 2nd offense, you may face:
    • Jail time of 45 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail. A fine of $600 to $3,500.
    • A driver's license suspension/revocation of 2 years.
    • A mandatory forfeit of your vehicle.
  • For a 3rd offense of a DUI, you may face:
    • 120 days to 11 months and 29 days in jail.
    • Fines of $1,100 to $10,000.
    • A mandatory forfeit of your vehicle.
    • Not eligible for a restricted license.
    • A driver's license suspension/revocation of 6 years.
  • For a 4th offense or subsequent DUI offenses, you will be charged with a Class E felony and may face:
    • 1 year in jail.
    • $3,000 to $15,000 in fines.
    • A mandatory forfeit of your vehicle.
    • Not eligible for a restricted license.
    • A driver's license suspension/revocation for 8 years.

The figures above are from the DMV in Tennessee and, as you can see, show a range of fines that are associated with each offense. But there are other costs associated with a DUI that is not mentioned above which will add to your total financial penalty. If we look at the minimum penalty for the first DUI offense, $350, and add the court and administration fees, that number is much higher.

You can plan on spending more than $5,000 on the following:

  • Towing Fee/Car Storage: $75
  • Bail: $125
  • Defense Attorney: $2,000
  • Court Costs: $200
  • Fees To Get License Reinstated: $300
  • Increased Insurance Premium: $2,000
  • Ignition Interlock System Install: $300
  • Alcohol Education Program: $300

That's an additional $5,300, minimally, that you will be paying on top of the $350 fine, not to mention the loss of employment for the time you're in jail if you're even able to keep your job. Time and time again, we see that drinking and driving just isn't worth it and shelling out $20 for an Uber or a cab can ultimately save you thousands in the long run if you're enjoying a night on the town.

If you've been charged with a DUI, you've come to the right place. Attorney Brian Nash has nearly a decade of experience working with a wide range of clients. He brings a vast amount of knowledge, drive, and determination to every case he works with. If you or someone you know is dealing with a DUI arrest, please contact Nash Law, PLLC today at 615-628-7555.

This article was written by the author on behalf of Nash Law, PLLC.
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