A car key sits near a pitcher of beer


Fisher Wise Aug. 23, 2021

DUI Charges in Tennessee

An accusation of drunk driving can change your life instantly. If you are convicted of DUI in Tennessee, you could be facing heavy fines, driver’s license suspension, or even jail time. With such lasting consequences for you and those you love, it’s important to sort out fact from fiction when it comes to DUI charges.

A DUI is something you can fight; you’ll need a criminal defense advocate on your side as you navigate your way through the legal process. I am here to help you through the challenges that you face after you are charged with a DUI, no matter where you live in Tennessee. I serve clients in Chattanooga and all surrounding counties, including Marion County, Rhea County, and Sequatchie County. Set up a consultation with me to start seeking answers and a path forward.

Common Myths and Facts About DUI Charges

Whether this is the first time you have encountered a DUI or you have been here before, there are a few myths that shroud the charge. Let’s take some time to debunk them and talk about some facts.

A DUI Charge Isn’t Worth Fighting

False. Although it might seem like there is no way to fight a DUI charge, this assumption is incorrect. In Tennessee, only 56% of cases monitored in 2020 resulted in a guilty conviction. 26% of Tennessee cases were dismissed or amended to a lesser charge.

The Charge Is so Common It Isn’t Serious

False. A DUI charge is serious. The possible penalties involve fines, probation, and jail time. If you are a repeat offender, you may have to go to a rehabilitation program and have an ignition lock on your car. You can also get your license suspended. All of these penalties deeply affect your day-to-day life.

You Must Submit to A Field Sobriety Test

False. Tennessee law does not require you to agree to perform field sobriety tests when requested by an officer. In addition, there is no legal penalty for refusing a field sobriety test. The officer who pulls you over does not have to inform you of these rights, so many people do not realize this.

You Have to Actually Be Driving to Be Arrested for A DUI

False. In the state of Tennessee, you do not have to actually be driving in order to get arrested for a DUI. You only have to be the person operating the vehicle. This means you could be parked with the car on and inebriated, and you can still get arrested because you are the vehicle's operator. DUI is taken very seriously in our state; police officers in Chattanooga and the rest of Tennessee are trained to look for indicators of your impaired driving ability—even if you aren’t actually driving.

A DUI Will Fall Off My Record in 7 Years

False. A DUI stays on your criminal record for the rest of your life. Tennessee does have a look-back period, but that only lasts ten years.

Work with An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Tennessee

No matter when, where, or why you got pulled over for drunk driving, don’t allow one mistake to ruin your future. When a DUI threatens to impact your personal reputation, your professional prospects, and more, contact me. At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I’m ready to help you fight your DUI charges and put you in a position to move forward. If you live in Chattanooga, Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, or the surrounding counties of Marion County, Rhea County, Sequatchie County, and beyond, contact me today to schedule a consultation.