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A Tennessee DUI and your professional license

A drunk driving conviction in Tennessee is never a good thing. It means the local Chattanooga Police Department or the Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled you over and successfully prosecuted you for a DUI, presumably because a breath test or a blood test produced a Blood alcohol content (BAC) of greater than 0.08, the limit in Tennessee and all other states.

It means you are at risk for enhanced DUI penalties, should you be convicted of a second or third DUI. Your first conviction could result in a mandatory one-year license suspension and at least 48 hours jail. 

If you are convicted a second time, the jail time increases to at least 45 days in jail and your license if revoked for two years. This can have serious consequences for your job or career, as you need a very understanding employer to miss a minimum of 45 days of work.

With the license suspension, you also have the added complexity of dealing with finding transportation to work once you are released from jail. In Chattanooga, there is limited public transportation and taking a cab can be expensive. If you have a spouse who can drive, it can help, but that may be very inconvenient, especially if you work different hours.

A third DUI conviction becomes even more damaging, with a mandatory 120 days or more in jail, fines that can range from more than $1,000 up to $10,000 and a three-year license suspension.

If you have a professional license, it can cause additional problems, and many licensing boards may look disapprovingly on a first conviction. For a second or third, you could see disciplinary action by your board, including suspensions or revocations of your license.

A doctor in Murfreesboro will be dealing with these issues after he was stopped. It was his first DUI arrest and the Tennessee Department of Health did not show any disciplinary actions on his record.

He will want to have an aggressive defense to protect his professional license and his livelihood from potential damage.

WKRN.com, "Murfreesboro doctor charged with DUI," September 15, 2014

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