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What Happens if I Get More Than One DUI in Tennessee?

Posted on in DUI/DWI

Knoxville DUI defense lawyerTennessee has rather harsh DUI penalties, even for first (and hopefully only) DUIs. You have likely already suffered through a one-year license suspension, DUI education programs, probation, or even jail time. So what happens if you get another DUI? The penalties you will face in Tennessee get progressively harsher with each DUI, going all the way up to a two-year prison term. 

It is clear from the sentencing guidelines that this state takes drunk driving incredibly seriously. If you are facing your second, third, or subsequent DUI it is extremely important that you work with experienced legal counsel to give yourself the best chances of a more positive outcome. 

What Happens After a Second DUI? 

While a first DUI can be quite serious, a second drunk driving charge is worse. Courts may see a first DUI as a learning opportunity, but are unlikely to be as forgiving after a second incident. This time, the period of driver’s license suspension is two years and you could be facing up to 11 months in jail. The minimum jail sentence, however, is 45 days - substantially longer than the 48-hour minimum a first DUI carries. You will also probably be ordered to substance abuse treatment, and you will have an interlock system in your vehicle when you begin driving again. 

After a third DUI, the minimum jail sentence goes up to 120 days - and your driver’s license will be revoked for up to six years. That is a very long time to go without being able to drive if you live outside a city with good public transportation. 

When Do Multiple DUIs Become a Felony? 

After your third DUI, it might be time to start taking drunk driving laws extremely seriously. A fourth DUI - and any DUI after that - is a felony. During the first three DUIs, the court may make efforts aimed at rehabilitating the defendant in the hopes that proper substance abuse treatment will prevent further drunk driving. After three, the penalties become less rehabilitative and more punitive, although mandatory inpatient drug and alcohol treatment may still be imposed. Up to an eight-year driver’s license suspension is possible, and jail time is highly likely. A fourth or subsequent DUI could land you in prison for two years, with a minimum sentence of 120 days. 

Call a Knox County Second and Multiple DUI Lawyer

If you were arrested for a second or subsequent DUI, you will want to work with an experienced Knoxville DUI attorney to put forth the best possible defense. The Law Office of William F. Evans is skilled at working with clients accused of multiple DUIs and will fight for a positive result for you. Call 423-449-7980 for a free consultation as soon as possible after your arrest so we can begin building your case. 



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