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DUI Penalties

Knoxville DUI Lawyer

Every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia currently have per se laws and regulations defining it as a criminal offense to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood).

Driver's license suspension or revocation typically follows conviction for driving under the influence. Under a process called administrative license revocation, licenses are taken away prior to conviction when a motorist declines or refuses to take a chemical test. Due to the fact administrative license revocation laws are independent of criminal procedures as well as are invoked right after criminal arrest, they've been found to be more effective than conventional post-conviction sanctions. Administrative license suspension laws are in place in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

Often times when a driver has their license suspended for a DUI, the court may allow a driver to use a restricted driver license after a certain amount of their suspension has been served. In most cases a restricted driver license will allow a driver to drive to and from a place of employment, school, drug or alcohol treatment and other destinations defined by the court.

There is always some time that must pass before a driver can apply for a restricted driver license. This is dependant on state laws, the number of DUI convictions and other variables. In many states a restricted license may only be issued if the driver in questions installs a Certified Ignition Interlock Device.

More than 50 % of all U.S. states require drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlocks on their vehicles in order to drive during a license suspension and/or require interlocks for specified time periods before fully relicensing offenders. These interlock devices analyze a driver’s breath and disable the ignition if the driver has been drinking. In 13 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, and Washington), such a restriction is applied to all offenders, including first time offenders. California applies a similar restriction to all offenders, but only in 4 counties. An additional 9 states apply the restriction to all offenders with high BACs (usually 0.15 percent or higher) and to repeat offenders, and 6 states apply the restriction only to repeat offenders.

Laws in the remaining states do not require interlocks at all, though courts or DMVs in 18 states and the District of Columbia have the discretion to apply interlock requirements. Only 3 states (Alabama, South Dakota, and Vermont) have no interlock laws.

DUI Attorney in Knoxville TN

An ignition interlock device attaches to the condemned DUI offender’s vehicle and requires the driver to do a breath-test before the vehicle will start. While this penalty for DUI conviction is a likelihood in some states, this is not an alternative in Tennessee.

Alcohol teaching and prevention program, treatment for alcohol abuse, and evaluation of a person for possible alcohol or drug reliance can be required for DUI offenders in Tennessee. These steps are often recommended instead of serving a sentence of incarceration or paying fines.