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What does it mean if I get sent to Tennessee DUI school?

It doesn't take much to start a whole cascade of penalties when Chattanooga authorities suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even before a charge is filed or conviction obtained, there are consequences. To avoid or minimize the fallout from DUI-related charges, it's crucial to speak with experienced legal counsel. It's worth the cost, especially if the initial consultation is free.

As we have observed before on this blog, being stopped on the road is just the start. If police ask you to submit to a breath test, the state's implied consent law obligates drivers to agree and refusing "will result in the suspension by the court of the driver's operator's license."

Not only might DUI charges follow, but once that license is suspended it triggers a separate legal process to get a restricted license to allow you to drive to and from work or school. In some cases, the restricted license might also require you to complete court-ordered DUI school course. And here's what you can expect if that happens.

First, you have to be sure that the school you attend is properly licensed by the state. You will face at least 12 hours of study and if you fail to complete that minimum, you may have to do it all again.

The core curriculum of the schools is the Prime for Life program. What it seeks to do is modify attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of individuals around the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs. The creators of the program say the objective is to provide each participant with a self-assessment experience that helps them identify their values, the threat substance use or abuse poses to those values and what actions can be taken to avoid problems in the future.

The commitment to 12 hours of self-evaluation and attitude adjustment might be onerous to some readers. But doesn't it sound better than the possible penalties of incarceration, fines or the installation of an ignition interlock device?

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