23Jul 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in Tennessee

In Nevada, drivers under the age of 21 years are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .02, for non-commercial drivers above 21 years, when their blood alcohol level is more than .08 they are considered to be legally drunk. On the other hand, for commercial vehicle drivers, they are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .04. In Tennessee, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.

Tennessee Drunk Driving Penalties

For first time offenders they face the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of 1 day to 12 months in a county jail
  • The offender will be required to pick litter from the highways in 3 shifts of 8 hours as a condition of probation. In addition, while removing litter the offender will have to wear an orange blazer with the words “I AM A DRUNK DRIVER”, printed on the back in letters no less than 4  inches in height
  • The offender will pay a fine ranging between $350 and $1,500
  • The offender’s driver’s license revocation period is 1 year

For second time offenders within 5 years of their previous conviction, they face:

  • A prison sentence of 45 days to 12 months in a county jail
  • A fine ranging from $600 to $3,500
  • The offender’s driver’s license revocation period is 2 years
  • The offender will be required to enroll in an alcohol treatment program for one month

For third time offenders within 10 years of their previous offence, they face:

  • A prison sentence of 4 months to 12 months
  • A fine ranging from $1,100 to $10,000
  • The offender’s driver’s license revocation period is 6 years

For fourth or subsequent offenders within 10 years of their first conviction, they face

  • A jail term of 5 months to 6 years
  • A fine ranging from $3,000 to $15,000
  • The offender’s driver’s license revocation period is 8 years

 

The Point System in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) is responsible for recording points on your driving record when you commit traffic violations. Drivers that accumulate twelve (12) or more points on their driving record during a 12-month period are sent a notice of proposed suspension by mail and given an opportunity to attend an administrative hearing at the courthouse. If they fail to request a hearing, their driving privileges are suspended for a period of six to 12 months

 

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