Never minimize the seriousness of a DUI charge

When it comes to allegations of driving under the influence, there is no such thing as a minor case. Even if you have never faced such charges before, you need to take them seriously. Consulting with an experienced attorney is imperative and that becomes more necessary if this is not a first offense.


Consider this. The penalties for a first offense of driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance can include a fine of up to $1,500. Additional consequences can include:

  • The suspension of your driving license for one year
  • Minimum jail time of 48 hours
  • An order to work on a road litter detail as part of probation, if such a county program exists

It’s also essential to recognize that if you happen to be visiting Tennessee and you have a record of conviction for DUI in your home or any other state, that history follows you. And each successive DUI conviction increases the severity of punishments.


Different strategies exist in mounting a defense against DUI charges. Finding the right one depends on completing a thorough investigation of the circumstances in every case. Each one is different.

For example, if you were stopped and arrested after failing one or several of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in use by police, it might be possible to challenge the reliability of the results. The tests are often administered improperly or involve use of improperly calibrated equipment.

If you refused to submit to testing or your blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.20 percent or more, state law allows for potentially enhanced charges. The goal then might be to work with prosecutors to avoid an amendment of charges to something more serious.

Alternatively, if the facts of the case support the position, it may be possible to negotiate a plea agreement that reduces the charge to a less serious offense, such as reckless driving.

Finally, keep this in mind. A DUI conviction can remain on your record indefinitely and the laws of most states allow businesses to refuse employment for a conviction. In some states, an arrest alone can cost job opportunities.

With all that’s at stake, it becomes easy to understand why we say no DUI case is minor.