Will I Need to Get an Ignition Interlock for a DUI Charge in Tennessee?

Information on Ignition Interlock Device Laws in The Volunteer State of TN

When it comes to the offense of driving under the influence, cities like Memphis, Knoxville, Gatlinburg, Nashville, Clarksville, and all other towns in the state will have the same Tennessee Ignition Interlock rules and DUI laws. Any driver suspected of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol who has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The penalties for being convicted of this crime include fines, a driver’s license suspension, the possibility of serving a jail sentence, and maybe having to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in order to drive legally.

Ignition Interlock for a DUI Charge in Tennessee
Will you need to install a Tennessee Ignition Interlock Device?

A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent being grounds for charging individuals with drinking and driving related crimes is common across the US. This is due to research that helped determine the effects of consuming alcohol when it comes to driving. The studies showed that most drivers whose BAC was 0.05 percent were too impaired to drive and all drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent were too impaired to drive. Additionally, the state of Tennessee charges commercial drivers with DUI should their BAC be at or above 0.04 percent. Due to the serious high costs & penalties of the new laws passed, a driver needs to take the necessary action of having the arrest details examined online with us. This way every possible defense can be explored in enough time which may provide ways of how to prevent a driver’s license from getting suspended in TN, and also potentially avoid the requirement of having to get a car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device to be installed on a car in order to legally drive in the state.

What Are the Most Common Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Tennessee?

When a driver is suspected of and then charged with a DUI in the state of Tennessee, they often go to court to stand trial. Should they subsequently be convicted, it is added to their criminal record, and they are responsible for dealing with the associated penalties of DUI, which increase in severity with the number of previous offenses individuals have. First-time DUI offenders in the state of Tennessee, or those with no previous DUI convictions, face:

  • Fines Between $350 and $1,500
  • Driver’s License Suspension of One Year
  • Jail Sentence of 48 Hours to 11 Months
  • Required to Get an Ignition Interlock device for TN Driver’s License Reinstatement

Repeat DUI offenders in this state face harsher penalties than first time offenders. Repeat offenders are defined as those with a previous DUI conviction on their record within the last 10 years. Second offense DUI defendants in the state of Tennessee, or those with one previous DUI conviction, face:

  • Fines Between $600 and $3,500
  • Driver’s License Suspension of Two Years
  • Jail Sentence of 45 Days to One Year
  • A DUI Interlock Will Be Used to Get a Suspended Driver’s License Back

Third time DUI offenders in the state of Tennessee, or those with two previous DUI convictions, face:

  • Fines Between $1,100 and $10,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of Three to 10 Years
  • Jail Sentence of 120 Days to One Year
  • Required to Install an IID for Driver’s License Reinstatement

The state of Tennessee has also outlined the fines and penalties for those on their fourth DUI. Fourth time DUI offenders in the state of Tennessee, or those with three previous DUI convictions, face:

  • Fines Between $3,000 and $15,000
  • TN Driver’s License Suspension of Five Years to Indefinitely
  • Jail Sentence of 150 Days to Six Years
  • Required to Use an Ignition Interlock to Legally Drive in the State

What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work With TN DUI Laws?

An Ignition Interlock in Tennessee is a device that works very similarly to the Breathalyzer devices police officers use in order to determine individuals’ BACs. Instead of being a handheld device, the IID is installed in the vehicle of a DUI offender who wishes to have a driver’s license reinstated. Before offenders are able to start their vehicle, they need to blow into the device in order to provide a breath sample – should the sample read above the preprogrammed threshold, usually set at 0.02 percent BAC, the vehicle does not start.

It is possible for the Interlock to be programmed to require drivers to provide an additional breath sample while the vehicle is running. When prompted, offenders need to again blow into the device – should this second sample read above the preprogrammed threshold, the event is logged in the device’s internal memory, and the device sounds an alarm indicating the vehicle should be pulled over and turned off. The Ignition Interlock device cannot shut off a vehicle once it has started. This additional test is meant to prevent another individual from providing the initial breath sample to start the vehicle.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Tennessee?

Courts in the state of Tennessee can authorize the installation of an Ignition Interlock device in the following 6 types of DUI offense situations:

  1. The entire period of a restricted license
  2. Six months after the period of a restricted license has ended
  3. First time offenders for a period of one year
  4. Second time offenders for a period of two years
  5. Third time offenders for a period of six years
  6. Fourth time or more time offenders for a period of eight years

Who is Responsible for Paying for the Full Cost of the TN Ignition Interlock Device?

In almost all DUI cases where the court authorizes the use of an car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock in TN, it is the responsibility of the offenders to pay all costs associated with using it. Often times, they pay between $75 and $120 a month to lease the device as well as an additional $100 to professionally install it. It is important to keep in mind these are just rough cost estimates – some Tennessee Ignition Interlock providers may charge more or less depending on where they are located, and some IID providers may offer free installation if the device is leased from them.

What is the Process of Having to Install an Ignition Interlock Device in Tennessee?

After the court has authorized offenders to use a DUI Interlock device as a means to have a suspended Tennessee driver’s license reinstated, they will need to begin the process of obtaining the device and having it installed. First, individuals want to lease the car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock from a Tennessee state approved company– there are a number of approved IID providers across the state, and a full list of these companies can be found on the Tennessee Department of Safety website.

Once the Interlock device has been leased from a state approved provider, it is also important for offenders to ensure the device is installed in their vehicle to the state’s standards. After this is completed, it is likely individuals need to provide proof back to the court and/or their probation officer. Often times, this proof includes a copy of the lease agreement from the state approved IID provider as well as a copy of the receipt for having the device professionally installed. Once a Tennessee Ignition Interlock lawyer reviews a person’s own arrest circumstances online with us, they will then be able to use this information to discuss what the best possible DUI defense strategies are for options of how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:

[column col=”1/4″]Anderson County
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Franklin County[/column]

[column col=”1/4″]Gibson County
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Lincoln County[/column]

[column col=”1/4″]Loudon County
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Memphis
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White County
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Wilson County[/column]

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Alcoa
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Winchester[/column]

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