After a Tennessee DUI, I can still get a restricted license, right?

In most cases, yes. However, there are some situations where you might be denied a restricted license.

What is a restricted license?

After a DUI conviction in Tennessee, your driver’s license will be revoked for a period of time. If this was your first alcohol or drug-related offense, your license will be revoked for a year. For a fourth or subsequent DUI offense, the revocation period is eight years. However, most first time DUI offenders can get a restricted license during the revocation period.

How do I get a restricted license?

To get a restricted license, you must get a signed court order.  In DUIs involving alcohol, this will require installation and use of an ignition interlock device for a 1-year period.  An ignition interlock device is breathalyzer for car ignitions that prevents drivers from being able to start their cars after drinking alcohol.

You must also obtain an SR-22 certificate proving you are insured by a company that is licensed in Tennessee.

You must file an application (and pay a fee) and submit a certified copy of the court order with your local Driver Service Center within 10 days of the date of the order.

Why might Tennessee deny a restricted license?

There are some situations when Tennessee simply won’t issue a restricted license. If you are convicted of more than DUI, such as vehicular assault or homicide, you will not be issued a restricted license. This is also true if you have ever been convicted of vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, or the aggravated versions of those crimes.

If your drunk driving caused someone serious bodily injury or resulted in a death, you won’t get a restricted license.

You can’t immediately get a restricted license if your driver’s license was already suspended or revoked when you were arrested for driving drunk. You will have to clear up the existing suspension or revocation completely before you can apply for a restricted license.

You may not be issued a restricted license if you have a driver’s license restriction in another state.

How do I get my unrestricted license back?

Unfortunately, it could take a lot to get your unrestricted driver’s license reinstated.

First, you will have to serve out the mandatory license revocation period, with or without a restricted license.

Regardless of whether you will be driving on a restricted license during the revocation period, you will have to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year at your own expense before you will be able to get your unrestricted license back.

You will have to maintain your SR-22 insurance for three to five years after reinstatement. Be aware that premature cancellation of this insurance could result in your license being suspended.

If you were ordered to undergo drug or alcohol assessment and treatment, you will have to turn in a certification that you completed the treatment.

You will have to pay a reinstatement fee, an SR-22 fee, and possibly a failure to surrender license fee. These fees could add up to over $225.

A lawyer can help you with the process of getting a restricted license

If you have been arrested for DUI, you need to act quickly to protect your chances of getting a restricted license. We know how important driving is to real life in Tennessee. We will work hard to minimize the consequences to your license while defending your criminal case.

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