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A Tennessee DUI: how bad can it be?

Every Friday night is special. For most of us, it’s the end of a long workweek. Friday night is also the start of a too-short weekend. When a Friday night ends with the Clarksville Police lights flashing behind your car, and a resultant DUI arrest, the fun comes to an abrupt end.

As our readers know, a Tennessee DUI offense can mean harsh penalties that have an immediate impact on your life. Penalties can include jail time, loss of license, large fines and much more.

According to the state of Tennessee’s website, a very first DUI offense can mean time in jail, ranging from 48 hours up to 11 months and 29 days behind bars. If the Clarksville officer measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.20 percent or above, you are to be sentenced to a minimum of seven consecutive days in jail.

On top of that, your driver’s license can be revoked for a year. You can also be fined up $1,500, as well as be required to pay license reinstatement fees and towing costs. Even more: you can be ordered by the court to attend alcohol education classes (at your expense) and install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle (also at your expense).

The device requires drivers to pass a brief alcohol-breath test before their vehicle can be started.

You’ll also likely be forced by your auto insurance company to pay significantly higher premiums – if you're even allowed to keep your policy. Many insurers boot DUI drivers, forcing the motorists to look for expensive high-risk insurers.

Just a reminder: all of those punishments are for a first DUI offense. The penalties get much harsher for any subsequent convictions. That’s why it makes sense for those facing drunk driving charges in Montgomery County to discuss their legal options with an attorney experienced in DUI defense.  

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