DUI is a criminal offense people frequently underestimate the consequences of. If you are a first-time offender, you may have a likelier chance of reducing or eliminating the charges, but subsequent offenders receive harsher treatment and more obstacles.
Furthermore, DUI is usually not the only charge applicable to the situation. You may also find yourself facing one of these other charges to defend yourself against, as the combination of all the penalties will greatly affect your life.
Unless at a DUI checkpoint, the police probably suspected your intoxication based on how you were driving. You may have been speeding, forgotten to use the turn signal or run a stop sign. On the other hand, perhaps drunk driving was not the reason for the traffic stop but something such as a broken tail light or expired registration. Either way, you will also have the penalties that come with a traffic ticket.
Chemical test refusal
As a driver, you imply your consent to take a chemical test. You may choose to refuse it, but you will face penalties in addition to and separate from the DUI charges.
Was there a minor in the car with you at the time of your DUI? Tennessee law states that having any passenger under 18 years old while driving under the influence constitutes child endangerment. Penalties increase severely if the child sustained an injury or fatality as a result. Your criminal history will also affect how much prison time you may receive.
Vehicular assault or homicide
Often, drunk driving leads to a motor vehicle accident. If the accident was severe, causing another driver, pedestrian or cyclist major injury, it qualifies as vehicular assault, a Class D felony. The charges go up to vehicular homicide, which is a Class B felony, if the person dies and your BAC was 0.08 percent or higher. In both cases, you will not be eligible for a restricted license.