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Can I get a restricted license after DUI in Tennessee?

Not having a driver's license can be far more problematic than people realize. Not only can you have trouble getting to work and picking up your kids, you can also be seriously limited in when you can run errands, go to the doctor and meet friends out for dinner. You may be able to rely on public transportation and the help of friends and family, but over time these options can be expensive and tedious. 

So, when a license is suspended or revoked in Tennessee as a result of a DUI, people often wonder if there's any way to get at least some driving privileges reinstated. The answer is yes, you can potentially get a restricted driver's license, provided you meet the eligibility requirements and take the appropriate steps.

Do you need a restricted license?

A restricted license allows you drive but only with an ignition interlock installed and/or within established geographic restrictions. These include:

  • Work
  • Rehabilitation meetings
  • Regularly scheduled religious services
  • College courses, if a full-time student
  • Meetings with probation officers

If these are locations and events you go to regularly, it may behoove you to have a restricted license.

Are you eligible for a restricted license?

In order to be eligible for restricted driving privileges, you must:

  • Have been convicted of a DUI or other offense for which restricted licensing is available
  • Not have been in an accident where the offense was the proximate cause of a fatality or serious injury to someone
  • Not have a prior vehicular homicide or assault conviction on your record

What do I need to do?

In order to get a restricted license, you must:

  • Secure SR-22 insurance
  • Pay license and application fees
  • Install an ignition interlock device, if applicable
  • Obtain a certified court order detailing the geographic restrictions

If you would benefit from a restricted license, qualify for one and take the steps necessary to get one, then making a mistake that jeopardizes reinstatement of driving privileges can be particularly upsetting. In order to avoid missteps that could cost you privileges you need and for which you are eligible, it can be a good idea to work with an attorney familiar with the reinstatement process.

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