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Tennessee prohibits a person from driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle under either of the following conditions:
  • + the person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater (.04% or more if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle), or
  • + the person is “under the influence” of any intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, controlled substance analog, drug, substance affecting the central nervous system, or combination thereof.

Tennessee law defines “under the influence” as being impaired to an extent that the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is affected.

A driver who has a BAC of .08% or more can be convicted of a “per se DUI,” regardless of his or her level of actual impairment. The volume of alcohol necessary to reach these BAC levels can differ depending on the person’s gender, body size and the type of alcohol. 

  1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
48 hours to 11 months, 29 days (7-day minimum with a .20% BAC or more)
45 days to 11 months, 29 days 120 days to 11 months, 29 days.
$350 to $1,500
$600 to $3,500 $1,100 to $10,000