DUI Second Offense

Penalties for DUI Second Offense in Tennessee

The penalties for DUI second offense can lead to catastrophic consequences.  It involves more money, more jail time, and a longer revocation of your license.  Additionally, the law can require in-patient rehab in lieu of extra jail time.  However, if your insurance does not cover rehab (or you do not have the money to afford rehab), then you must spend that extra time in jail. Here are the penalties for DUI Second Offense:

  • An "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail.  There is a mandatory minimum of 45 days in jail.  However, the law allows you to get credit for time spent in outpatient or inpatient rehab.  If you cannot afford in-patient rehab, then it is likely you will have to serve the entirety of your jail sentence.
  • A fine up to $3,500.  There is also a mandatory minimum fine of $600.
  • Loss of driving privileges for two years.  Under the penalties for this offense, you must have an ignition interlock device to operate a motor vehicle during the period of your revocation. 
  • You must obtain an alcohol and drug assessment and follow all recommendations.  Although this is not always ordered by the court, it is a part of the law and you should be aware of it. 

The Financial Aspects

The cost  of this second offense more than doubles that of the costs of a first offense.  You are required to pay more money for fines.  You are required to pay for the alcohol and drug assessment.  In this case, you are now required to pay for two years of ignition interlock services.  If you cannot afford ignition interlock services, then you cannot drive and must depend on family members and friends.  Additionally, you will have to get SR-22 insurance, which is only carried by certain insurance companies (for more information about SR-22, click here).

The Department of Safety

The Tennessee Department of Safety could possibly be the most powerful governmental entity in the State of Tennessee.  This particular department decides whether your license is suspended or revoked regardless of any agreement you may enter into with the prosecutor.  For example, if you are charged with a DUI Second Offense, then have your case plead down to a DUI First Offense, the Department of Safety is probably going to still take your license for two years.  That is why you should hire a lawyer that is familiar with the complexities involved with dealing with the Tennessee Department of Safety.  It could be the difference between knowing how long you will lose your license or getting caught off guard a month after your court date.  Click on the map below to get the address for the Tennessee Department of Safety.