Perhaps it was a couple of beers at the Superbowl party or a cocktail at happy hour after work that led you to see blue and red lights flashing in your rear-view mirror on your drive home. Before you know it, you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, and even if it is only your first DUI, there are still significant penalties.
Under Tennessee law, if it is your first DUI offense and your blood-alcohol content level was at or above 0.08, you could be jailed anywhere from 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days. If your BAC was at 0.20 or above, you can expect to spend at least seven consecutive days in jail. Your first DUI can result in having your driver’s license revoked for one year, although depending on the circumstances you might be able to obtain a restricted license. Also, you may have to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program.
A first-time DUI can be financially costly as well. If your DUI caused someone else to be injured, you may have to pay restitution. You may have to pay a fine of anywhere from $350 to $1,500. All-in-all, when you combine towing, bail, court fees, insurance rates and reinstatement costs, a first-time DUI could cost you as much as $4,900. You’ll also have to have an ignition interlock device placed in your vehicle — another $1,000 expense.
As you can see, even a first-time DUI can be a serious crime with serious consequences. Those who are facing DUI charges will want to seek the advice they need to develop a defense strategy that counters these charges, in order to have them reduced or dropped altogether.