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The high cost of a DUI conviction in Tennessee

Even for first offenders, a conviction for driving under the influence can be costly in the state of Tennessee. A few drinks with friends can easily lead to weighty consequences the moment someone gets behind the wheel.

Not only is it expensive, but a DUI can leave a mark on someone's record and his or her life.

License suspension

Students may use their vehicle to get to classes at the local college, or they may need it as transportation to work and back. The repercussions of losing a driver’s license may be difficult to imagine, but that is one of the consequences of a DUI conviction. The court would suspend the license for a year, and require the offender to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle he or she drives once the driver's license has been reinstated.

The monetary expense

There is no way to soften the blow: a DUI conviction is expensive. For a first offense, a person may pay fines and penalties of from $350 to $1,500. There are also surcharges, and a significant increase in auto insurance rates is sure to follow. The offender must pay for the ignition interlock device installation, and charges for the first year of use could go as high as $1,000. He or she must also typically enter a drug and alcohol treatment program. Other expenses will include bail, court costs, reinstatement fees and the towing of the vehicle.

Other issues

Of course, cost is not always about money. A first-time offender could be looking at jail time of 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days, depending on the circumstances surrounding the DUI. Beyond that, there is likely to be an impact on a college student's education, or on the career of a driver who already has a job.

Defense options

A criminal defense attorney can investigate the various elements pertaining to the arrest and help someone facing a DUI conviction to fight the charges. This is a good thing to keep in mind in view of the many and varied costs of a DUI conviction.

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