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License suspension in Tennessee

An arrest in Tennessee on charges of a DUI can be disorienting, especially if it is your first time in the criminal justice system. A DUI is a criminal offense, and depending on the circumstance and your alleged Blood alcohol Content (BAC), the severity of the penalties can range $350 to $1,500 in fines and a few days jail, up to almost a year in jail for a first offense.

In addition to your criminal DUI case, there is the separate administrative process by the Tennessee Department of Safety, which revokes your license. This is not the same as the court process that could send you to jail for the DUI. 

If this is your first DUI offense, your license will be revoked when you are arrested. You need to request an administrative hearing within 10 days of your arrest to challenge this revocation. If you fail to request this hearing, your license revocation becomes effective.

However, you may still be eligible for a restricted license. This license can be helpful in keeping a job or remaining in school, as without it, you cannot drive a vehicle.

After a DUI conviction, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device before you may resume driving. This device functions like a breath tester in your vehicle and you must provide a breath sample every time you start the vehicle.

It also requires additional, random samples, while you are driving. You will be required to pay for both the installation and the monthly maintenance of the ignition interlock device while it is in your vehicle.

And your insurance rates are likely to increase after your DUI. With all of the expenses that accompany a DUI conviction, provide a strong incentive to obtain an aggressive DUI defense for your charges.

TN.gov, "DUI Offenses," web page accessed January 2015

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