Individuals who are charged with DUI in Tennessee may face significant penalties such as jail time, a fine or a loss of driving privileges. However, it is possible for a sentence to be enhanced depending on the circumstances of a given case. For instance, a person who has previously been convicted of a DUI could be subject to enhanced penalties if convicted on a subsequent charge.
Motorists who refuse to take a Breathalyzer test might also face penalties such as an immediate license revocation. It is important to note that individuals cannot be forced to submit to blood or urine tests unless authorities first obtain a warrant to conduct them. A person who has a blood alcohol content of .15% or higher when taken into custody could face an enhanced drunk driving charge. Causing property damage or bodily injury could be considered grounds for a harsher sentence.
In some states, the fact that an open container of alcohol was discovered in a defendant’s car could be grounds for an increased sentence. If a driver is found driving while impaired and without a valid license, it may also be grounds for authorities to seek a longer jail term or a larger fine. Finally, drivers who were on probation when they were charged with impaired driving could be given the maximum sentence if convicted.
A motorist who is charged with drunk driving will likely want to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may cast doubt on chemical tests or other evidence used to charge a defendant. Legal counsel may also cast doubt on assertions that a person had an extremely high DUI or otherwise met the criteria to face stricter criminal penalties.