Understanding DUI manslaughter in Tennessee

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Tennessee recognizes DUI manslaughter as vehicular homicide. However, it does have specific laws that take into consideration the role of alcohol in the incident.

Vehicular homicide is a serious offense that recognizes when a person operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes the death of another individual, it requires significant legal repercussions.

Vehicular homicide basics

DUI vehicular homicide in Tennessee is the unlawful killing of another person while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Vehicular homicide is a Class B felony in the state when the driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more.

Additionally, Tennessee law allows for an elevated charge of aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated. This is a Class A felony that applies under specific conditions, such as having two or more prior DUI convictions or registering a BAC of .20 or greater at the time of the incident.


The legal consequences for DUI manslaughter in Tennessee are severe and can include substantial fines, lengthy imprisonment, and the revocation of driving privileges. The severity of the punishment depends on factors such as prior DUI convictions, the level of intoxication, and whether the incident involved additional criminal charges.

For a class B felony offense, the punishment includes a potential license revocation for a period of 3 to 10 years. There is no option for a restricted license during this time. Prison time for a vehicular homicide charge could be up to 60 years, and fines could be as much as $50,000.

In addition to criminal charges, individuals may face civil liability. This means that the family of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the loss of their loved one.

The legal system in Tennessee aims to hold individuals accountable for their actions, especially when those actions result in the loss of life. DUI manslaughter cases undergo thorough investigation and scrutiny. The severity of the consequences is a reflection of the gravity of the offense and the need to deter others from engaging in similar reckless behavior.


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