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What are the penalties for a 4th or subsequent DUI in Tennessee?

As you probably know, Tennessee has some of the toughest penalties around for drunk driving. That is especially true for repeat offenders. While ordinary DUIs are misdemeanors, a fourth or subsequent DUI offense is considered a Class E felony punishable by up to six years in prison.

In Tennessee, a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction (for a driver at least 21 who had a BAC between 0.08 and 0.20) typically results in:

  • A minimum of 150 consecutive days served in jail up to the maximum punishment
  • Driver's license revocation for eight years (a restricted license may be available)
  • A mandatory $3,000 to $15,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol treatment program
  • Administrative and court costs
  • Ignition interlock device to be installed and maintained at your own expense (Note: if any two DUI convictions occurred within 5 years of one another, the ignition interlock will be required for six months after license reinstatement)
  • Possible Vehicle seizure/forfeiture
  • Restitution for anyone who suffered personal injury or financial loss

You will also face collateral consequences such as the loss of your car insurance, having to replace it with costly SR-22 insurance for high-risk drivers, job loss or demotion if your work requires driving, and a criminal record that could cost you future jobs, housing and educational opportunities and even affect your credit.

The penalties are even higher if you had a child in the car when you were arrested or if you were in an accident that injured or killed someone. There is an even more serious crime you could be convicted of if you have:

  • Two prior DUI convictions or vehicular assault convictions, in any combination, or
  • One prior vehicular homicide conviction, or
  • A blood-alcohol content of 0.20 or higher and one prior DUI or vehicular assault conviction

If you are accused of a fourth or subsequent DUI or an even more serious drunk driving offense in Tennessee, you need legal help. An experienced attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or the penalties mitigated.

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