Can I Drive After a DUI Conviction?


Whether or not you can drive after a DUI conviction depends upon the criteria specific to your conviction, and may vary from case to case. Penalties for a DUI in Tennessee are heavy. After a DUI conviction, you will likely face driver’s license suspension and additional criminal charges. Read below to see what criteria your DUI conviction falls under.

Potential Court Requirements

  • 1st offense: Driver’s license suspension or revocation for up to 1 year.
  • 2nd offense: Driver’s license suspension or revocation for up to 2 years.
  • 3rd offense:  Mandatory forfeiture of your vehicle, and you will no longer be eligible for a restricted license. Additionally, your license may be suspended or revoked for up to 6 years.
  • 4th offense: Not only will you be charged with a Class E felony, but you will also face 1 year in jail, mandatory vehicle forfeiture, and driver’s license suspension/revocation for up to 8 years.

Underage DUI Requirements

If you’re under the age of 21, any trace of alcohol can result in a DWI charge, even if your BAC is under the legal limit. In addition to fines and court-ordered community service, your license may be suspended or revoked for 1 year.

Ignition Interlock Device

A vehicle ignition interlock device ensures that a driver with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit cannot start their vehicle. An approved provider must install this device. If you are convicted of a DUI 2 times in 5 years,  it is required that you pay for an ignition interlock device and keep it in your vehicle for 6 months after you reinstate your Tennessee driver's license. Installation costs include:

  • Installation fee: Maximum of $150
  • Leasing, maintenance, and/or monitoring fee: Maximum $100 per month
  • Removal fee: Maximum of $75

Reinstating Your License

After satisfying the conditions of your suspension/revocation, you will need to reinstate your license with the Tennessee Department of Safety. Reinstatement requirements vary depending on the circumstances of your DUI. Typical requirements include:

  • Completing a drug and alcohol treatment and education program
  • Driver's license application fees and tests
  • Providing proof of car insurance with an SR-22
  • Department of Safety fees may include a $100 reinstatement fee, $3 certification fee, $50 SR22 insurance filing fee, and a $75 fee if you fail to surrender your driver’s license at the time of revocation/suspension

Have you been arrested for a DUI? Hiring an attorney early on will better help your chances of preserving your right to drive. Once a conviction has been made, the penalties stand. However, if you have an attorney like the Law Office of Stephen R. Leffler, P.C. fighting on your side, you have a better chance at keeping your driver’s license or even getting your charges reduced.

Contact one of our Memphis DUI defense lawyer today.
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