If law enforcement arrested you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be thinking that at your age, you should know better—but everyone makes mistakes.
Your DUI matter is somewhat different than most because you are a new Tennessee resident. You have a new job in Knoxville, but with a suspended driver’s license, how will you get to work?
Looking at penalties
The state of Tennessee is serious about preventing drunk people from getting behind the wheel. As a first offender, you face a fine of up to $1,500, possible jail time of up to 11 months and 29 days plus participation in an alcohol safety program. Driver’s license suspension of up to a year is also applicable. However, you may be eligible for a restricted license, but there are certain conditions for obtaining one.
About a restricted license
If you have no prior convictions of vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular assault on your record and your arrest for DUI did not involve injuring another person or causing a traffic fatality, you may qualify for a restricted driver’s license. Because you are already looking at a one-year license suspension because of the DUI charge, the court will decide when you could apply for a restricted license within that period. You will also have to obtain SR-22 auto insurance for the state of Tennessee and present the court with proof of coverage. As a new resident of our state, you will also have to take and pass the Tennessee driver’s license test.
Explore your legal options, and be sure you understand what is available to you. The attorney handling your DUI case can assist in petitioning the court to request an order for a restricted driver’s license. With this, you would be able to drive to and from work and to the required alcohol education meetings. That may not sound like much, but a restricted license can help you keep the new job that was the reason for your move to Tennessee.