There are strict DUI penalties in Tennessee for convicted drivers who commit alcohol-related driving offenses. First-time offenders with a blood alcohol content over the legal BAC limit of .08 percent risk 48 hours to 11 months in jail, and will have their license revoked for up to a year. Those with a BAC of more than .20 percent are given a minimum jail sentence of 7 consecutive days. In addition to these penalties, drivers are also fined up to $1,500. Some drivers may be eligible for a restricted license if they install an ignition interlock device (IID).
In Tennessee, eligible drivers may be able to regain their driving privileges during the suspension period if they install an ignition interlock device, and meet other criteria. They can get a restricted license that allows them to drive if they use the IID.
Tennessee has financial and administrative penalties for all offenders, and these penalties increase depending on the number of offenses, and the specifics of the incident.
Anyone caught with a BAC over .08 percent for the third time will have their license suspended for 6 years, though a restricted license is available. They will also face 120 days to 11 months, 29 days in jail, $1,100-$10,000 in fines, and may be required to install an IID installed. If they have been convicted twice within 5 years, the IID will be required for an additional six months after reinstatement.
As of January 1, 2023, Tennessee has changed some of the regulations relating to the state’s interlock program and to DUI penalties.
Prior to this change, offenders had their license revoked for at least a year and may need to install an IID if the judge ordered it. Now, interlocks are required for offenders with the following circumstances around their DUI offense:
To meet interlock requirements, offenders must provide proof of interlock installation within 10 days of being released on bail. Interlock devices are now mandatory, but if the court doesn’t require one, they must include a written finding as to why this requirement is being waived.
The state’s interlock policy is now compliance-based as well. This means that offenders who are found to be circumventing, removing, or tampering with their IID can have their interlock extended by 120 days. Also, if the offender drives without their IID, does not repair or report a broken interlock, misses a calibration, or misses an inspection, the interlock term will start over, requiring the offender to serve 365 days from the new date.
There are also consequences for those drivers who refuse a breath alcohol content test, or breathalyzer.
Offenders in Tennessee who meet criteria are eligible to get a restricted license if they install an ignition interlock device. This allows them to drive during the suspension period. Offenders have to meet the following criteria:
Depending on the circumstances of the incident, the offender may not qualify for regaining driving privileges, even with an IID.
Ignition interlock devices are regulated, and offenders must have their device installed by a provider approved in your state. The court or an offender’s attorney should provide them with a list of approved devices. The ADS Determinator II device is approved in Tennessee.
Ignition interlock, devices, or IIDs, are portable breathalyzers installed inside your vehicle and:
The length of time an offender must have an IID is determined by statute. However, the length of time may change depending on specifics of the alcohol-related driving incident or other offender information.
Tennessee approves the ADS Determinator II device, which features bilingual prompts. The operating system is simple to use, and the installation technician will go over how it is used at the installation appointment.
Convicted offenders are responsible for the cost of the ignition interlock device. The devices are rented, not purchased outright, because they cost several thousand dollars. Tennessee does offer financial assistance to qualified offenders via the Tennessee DUI Monitoring Fund.
The price of the device averages out to roughly $2.50 to $3.50 per day.
ADS makes it easy to find a location. Thanks to our massive partner network, we have more than 4,000 installation locations. This makes it simple to visit a location that’s convenient.