How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Tennessee?

Driving under the influence is not only dangerous, it is also illegal. If you are operating a motor vehicle, including a boat, while intoxicated with alcohol or under the influence of drugs, you could face some serious penalties. Driving under the influence (DUI) can cause a lot of problems for you, financially and legally. How long does a DUI stay on your record in Tennessee?

Stays on Your Record

Essentially, if you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, the conviction will remain on your record permanently. The arrest can only be expunged or erased if your case is dismissed. If you are arrested for a DUI but conducted of a lesser charge, such as reckless driving, your record will still show the original charge was for a DUI.

The timeframe for calculating repeat offenses is ten years from the date of the first conviction to the date the second offense was committed. In other words, if you are arrested for a second DUI within ten years of your first conviction, that will carry the more severe penalties of a second conviction.

DUI Alcohol Limits

The blood alcohol limit (BAL) to be arrested for a DUI in Tennessee is .08, as it is in most states in the US. For individuals under the age of 21, the BAL is .02, since it is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase and consume alcohol. The blood alcohol limit indicates the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream.

Your BAL is influenced by a number of factors, including gender, weight, and the timeframe of your alcohol consumption. Generally, a 180-pound man will reach a BAL of .08 after four drinks. A 120-pound woman can have a .08 BAL after two drinks. A drink is considered to be a shot of liquor, one 12-ounce beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine.

At .08 BAL, you will experience many physical effects that will impact your ability to drive safely, including:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Impaired judgment, reason, and self-control
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty in detecting danger
  • Loss of balance
  • Reduced vision and hearing abilities.

When you are operating a motor vehicle, you will have difficulty recognizing and reacting to signals as well as to emergency situations. You will also have difficulty with controlling the speed of the vehicle. Your potential for causing an accident increases significantly, as does the potential for injuring yourself or others.

First Offense DUI

For your first conviction of a DUI, you could face:

  • Between 48 hours and 11 months and 29 days in jail
  • Revoked license for one year
  • Required restitution to anyone you injured or caused a personal loss
  • Between $350 and $1,500 in fines
  • An Ignition Interlock Device installed at your expense, which could exceed $1,000
  • A total financial cost of up to $4,900, including legal fees.

You will probably also be ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program so you can address your addiction appropriately and safely.

Repeat offenses involve much more severe penalties, financially and legally.

Boating Under the Influence

A new law in Tennessee means that you can also be convicted of driving a boat under the influence. The guidelines and requirements are basically the same as those applied to a DUI for operating a car. The penalties are also basically the same. if you are convicted of operating a boat under the influence, you will be sentenced to between 48 hours and 11 months and 29 days in jail.

The law applies to anyone operating a vessel on the public waters of the state while under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system. So, even though you may look forward to weekend fun of drinking and boating, know that you can be convicted of a DUI on the water just as you can on the road. It is also very dangerous to operate a boat under the influence, just as it is to drive a car while intoxicated.

Addiction Treatment After DUI in Tennessee

If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, know that you are not alone. Help is here. The team at Cumberland Heights understands how difficult it can be to overcome addiction. That’s why we provide clinically advanced care to people throughout the state of Tennessee. To learn more about addiction treatment through Cumberland Heights, contact our admissions team today.