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Jail time and fines typical penalties after first DUI arrest

Traffic patrol officers in Tennessee constantly watch for signs of intoxicated drivers. People pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving will generally be asked to take some type of sobriety or breath test. Failing a test will result in arrest. People who refuse to cooperate with a test will likely also end up in jail where authorities could insist on a blood or urine test to look for alcohol or drugs. As the criminal justice system processes people accused of intoxicated driving, first-time offenders can expect lighter sentences than those with previous records.

Law enforcement agencies generally hold offenders for eight hours to two days after a drunk driving arrest. Even first-time offenders will spend some time in jail because authorities want them to sober up prior to release. They will eventually have an opportunity to post bail and secure their release. They will need to appear in court later and deal with their criminal charges.

A person’s first conviction for driving under the influence will almost always include the suspension of a driver’s license for at least six months. Offenders can expect to pay monetary fines to the court as well. A court might also insist that offenders complete an alcohol education program.

Someone held in jail after a drunk driving arrest has the right to contact an attorney. Legal representation might help someone obtain a swift release on bail. To prepare for the next court appearance, an attorney might form a defense strategy, especially if the police did not conduct a sobriety test correctly. Challenges to evidence might result in a case dismissal or reduction of charges.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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