To obtain a driver’s license, you have to pass a written test and demonstrate proficiency with specific driving skills in a practical test. Tennessee drivers also have to maintain their licenses by following traffic laws. Too many major traffic violations could cost someone their license eventually.
Certain offenses will automatically result in a temporary license suspension. Driving under the influence (DUI) charges can lead to jail time and fines, and they also typically carry a license suspension. The first time someone pleads guilty to a DUI offense, the state will suspend their license for one year. The penalties increase for subsequent offenses.
Each offense leads to a longer suspension
When you already have a previous impaired driving offense on your record, the courts will impose a longer license suspension. A second Tennessee DUI will cost you your license for up to two years. A third DUI can mean losing your license or up to six years, while fourth or subsequent offenses mean going eight years without driving privileges.
The loss of driving privileges can drastically increase the impact of other criminal penalties. Losing your license can make getting to work expensive and unpredictable. It can also leave you unable to provide proper support for your children and other family members.
Is there any form of leniency available?
The state will grant restricted licenses to some individuals who have lost their driving privileges due to an alcohol offense. If you pay to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle and pass the breath test that you must administer every time you start your car, you can potentially start driving long before the end of your license suspension.
Obtaining a restricted license often means going back to court and shouldering the costs involved with both the installation and maintenance of an IID. Of course, it will also help you remain independent. The loss of your license won’t just mean inconvenience and embarrassment. It could also mean unpredictable attendance at work and other personal or professional consequences.
Fighting back against a DUI charge can help preserve your license and eliminate the challenges created by having a criminal record.