Understanding DUI Charges in Tennessee


We all make mistakes, and when you are facing DUI charges, you may find that you are facing multiple charges at the same time. The law is very specific about DUIs in Tennessee, and generally, the courts will use a variety of charges in hopes that at least one of them will stick.

DUI charges can be quite confusing to understand, and they can lead to a record and damage to your reputation. Get the help you need with a criminal lawyer in Murfreesboro, TN.

Different Types of DUI Charges

When you are arrested or charged for a DUI, it seems like a simple charge. DUI is driving under the influence, so that is what the charge should reflect, right? The truth is that there are multiple categorizations of DUI. This means that when the charges come through they may list several to include the different categories and cover the district attorney’s efforts toward a charge.

Take a look at the varying charges.

DUI Per Se Charges

The most common charge is called “DUI Per Se.” This is the general charge that covers a DUI. The law in Tennessee states that you cannot drive if your blood alcohol volume exceeds .08%, which is what this law is referring to. Per Se translates to “by definition,” so the charge is simply stating that you exceeded that .08% and by definition you were driving under the influence.

This charge does not consider physical impairment to motor skills, response, perception, or other details. It looks specifically at BAC.

DUI by Impairment Charges

Another common charge is called “by impairment.” While Per Se does not look at how you are physically affected or impaired, this charge does. Generally speaking, 08% typically will impair a person, although individuals differ in how their bodies handle or respond to alcohol.

Some people have much lower BAC numbers and yet are still obviously impaired. It can go the other way as well. This charge ultimately defines that you were impaired regardless of what your BAC levels are, making it unsafe for you to be driving.

Additional DUI Charges

Some additional clauses may be used. They are not as common as the above charges, but they could still be seen on your charge list. In most cases, a district attorney’s office will settle on chasing one or two specific charges, but when they initially file a charge against you, they may list multiple.

The different clauses vary by state but may include charges specific to drugs rather than alcohol. Some of the variables include age, BAC, local laws, and any other offenses that may apply to your DUI situation.

Many times, they will charge you with all of the possible DUI charges, and then charges will be adjusted with the ones that seem most likely to earn a conviction in court.

You Need Legal Support

Understanding these charges and the laws surrounding them is overwhelming. When you’re facing multiple charges, you need legal support that can help you navigate the system and fight for the best result possible. A criminal lawyer in Murfreesboro, TN, will be able to walk you through the process, discuss your options, and strategize for a better end result.

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