Policeman Giving a Breathalyzer to A Driver

Common Misconceptions About DUIs

Brazil Clark, PLLC May 17, 2022

Under Tennessee DUI laws, it is an offense to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of a controlled substance. A defendant arrested and charged with DUI may face devastating penalties and other life-altering ramifications. However, there are a lot of false assumptions with regard to DUI cases in The Volunteer State. Due to this, getting experienced guidance and representation is crucial to avoid a criminal record so that you do not complicate your situation or end up in the worst-case scenario.

The attorneys at Brazil Clark, PLLC are committed to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and reliable representation to clients in their drunk driving cases. As skilled Tennessee criminal defense attorneys, they can evaluate and investigate all of the surrounding facts of your case thoroughly and strategize an effective defense to help fight your charges. Using their extensive knowledge, Attorney Frank Brazil and his legal team will fight aggressively for you, help protect your driving privileges, and keep your record as clean as possible. The firm proudly serves clients across Nashville and Rutherford County, Tennessee.

DUI Charges in Tennessee

Tennessee DUI laws prohibit a person from driving or being in actual physical control of a car when:

  • They have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or more.

  • They are under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, drug, controlled substance, or any substance that significantly affects the central nervous system.

A person is considered to be "under the influence" when their driving ability is impaired and they may be unable to operate or drive a motor vehicle safely.

In Tennessee, a DUI conviction could possibly result in severe penalties, including jail time, huge fines, probation, license suspension or revocation, community service, and other social implications.

Common Myths and Facts

About DUI Charges in Tennessee

Unfortunately, there are misleading collective popular views and information surrounding Tennessee DUI charges. Many drivers are uninformed of the facts and typically end in the worst possible situation when arrested for driving while under the influence.

However, being able to differentiate between facts and fiction and having an idea of what to expect can make your drunk driving case feel more manageable. Below are some common myths and facts about impaired driving in Tennessee with a brief explanation:

Myth #1: The charge is so common it isn't serious.

This is a common misconception. A DUI charge is very serious, and a conviction may result in severe penalties such as incarceration, massive fines, and license suspensions. In addition, there are other devastating, immediate, and life-long consequences of a drunk driving conviction. These include:

  • High auto insurance rates.

  • Driver's license revocation.

  • Difficulties in securing housing, loans, and future employment.

  • Difficulties in securing public benefits and government assistance.

  • Difficulties in getting educational scholarships and professional opportunities.

Myth #2: A DUI charge isn't worth fighting.

This is false. Fighting your DUI charges in Tennessee is totally worth it. A first drunk driving conviction could possibly result in fines of from $350 to $1,500, between 48 hours and 11 months, 29 days in jail, and other far-reaching ramifications. With your future and every other thing on the line, it is definitely worthwhile to fight your drunk driving charges.

Myth #3: You have to be actually driving to be arrested for a DUI.

In the state of Tennessee, a person may be convicted of DUI for being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and not because they were actually driving. Even without actually driving, you may be arrested for a DUI. This could possibly result in some harsh consequences.

Myth #4: You must submit to a field sobriety test.

Field sobriety tests are a group of three tests – the horizontal gaze tests, the one-leg stand, and the walk-and-turn – used by law enforcement officers to determine whether a driver is impaired. On suspicion of drunk driving, a police officer may stop your car and request that you submit to a field sobriety test. Under Tennessee law, you don't have to agree to submit to a field sobriety test when requested by an officer. There is no legal punishment for refusing to take a field sobriety test.

Myth #5: When arrested for a DUI,
I don't have to submit to urine/blood tests.

Unlike a field sobriety test, chemical tests – including breath, blood, or urine tests – are obligatory. If the arresting officer has probable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you must submit to a chemical test. Under Tennessee law, refusing a lawfully requested BAC test is a Class A misdemeanor. Your driver's license may also be suspended.

Myth #6: A DUI will fall off my record in 7 years.

This is another common misconception. Unfortunately, a Tennessee DUI conviction will remain on your record for life. In fact, DUI convictions cannot ever be expunged in Tennessee. It will permanently remain on your public record. This is why it is important that you fight your DUI charges.

Getting Skilled Legal Representation is Crucial

Being convicted of DUI in Tennessee could possibly jeopardize your quality of life, liberty, personal reputation, eligibility for public benefits, employment, and future opportunities. However, defending your DUI allegations without reliable representation could increase your risk of suffering the maximum penalties. Therefore, when facing drunk driving charges, getting skilled legal representation from an aggressive criminal defense attorney is crucial to help clear up the misconceptions and outline your defense strategy.

Attorney Frank Brazil and his legal team have devoted their careers to defending and representing individuals who have been wrongfully accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Using their comprehensive legal understanding, they will help you navigate the Tennessee criminal justice system and represent you aggressively in every phase of the legal process. Attorney Frank Brazil will fight vigorously to defend your legal rights, and driving privileges and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow.

Facing drunk driving charges can be scary. This is why you shouldn't face them alone. Contact Brazil Clark, PLLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys. Attorney Frank Brazil and his trusted legal team will offer you the dedicated legal counsel, reliable advocacy, and strong representation you need to fight your DUI charges. The firm is proud to represent clients across Nashville and Rutherford County, Tennessee.