A DUI conviction can have far-reaching and devastating consequences that can affect your life in many ways. Not only will you have to pay the cost of the fine, but you may also incur court fees and fines, civil penalties, and be forced to pay fees for reinstating your license. In addition, you may face professional repercussions, such as reduced hours or responsibilities at work or even dismissal. You may also be subject to probation, which may include attending a DUI program for 30 months.
Alcohol is a factor in almost half of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant, impairing your judgment and reaction time. Even a 0.02 percent blood alcohol concentration can affect a person's judgment. Tennessee participates in the national program Drive Sober or Let Yourself Go, which provides local and state departments of justice and law enforcement with marketing tools to spread this message.
The state also has its own anti-impaired driving initiative called Booze It & Lose It, which seeks to raise awareness of DUI and DWI crimes. If you are facing a DUI charge or conviction, it is important to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you get a lesser charge, to avoid adding a DUI to your criminal record and avoid the most serious penalties. It usually takes three to four months for the expungement of a criminal record to clear the DUI from your criminal record, although the period varies.
Beyond these consequences, you will also have to report your DUI or DWI on any job application that requests the information and that you may not be able to rent a car. Those with multiple DUI offenses will be prosecuted to the maximum capacity of the law, varying by state.