A Tennessee DUI arrest can be more than expensive, it can also bring life-altering consequences. Suspended driving privileges may result in losing your source of income if you cannot use your vehicle to perform your job duties or get to work. A requirement to install an ignition interlock device for a first-time DUI charge can also be a significant financial burden, with all monthly fees and installation charges paid by the driver. 

As noted on the Tennessee Highway Safety Office website, a DUI conviction can increase auto insurance rates, incur jail time and cost an average of $10K in fines, court costs, fees, lost wages and vehicle towing. Restoring or maintaining your driving privileges is typically a primary concern; Tennessee statute T.C.A. 55-10-401 may enable you to obtain a restricted license under certain circumstances. 

Acting quickly 

A DUI arrest can result in criminal charges that require a strong defense in court. Before that takes place, a DMV administrative hearing may determine whether you can maintain certain restricted driving privileges during the interim period. While your DUI case progresses through the court system, a restricted license may allow you to drive to work, attend to family emergencies or keep up with doctor visits. 

The determination regarding the issuance of a restricted license must take place at a DMV hearing before an automatic post-arrest suspension occurs. The time frame for the suspension is typically a matter of days after a DUI arrest; you will need to contact the DMV to schedule a hearing as soon as possible. 

Preparing for the court date 

Timing can play a role in dismissing or reducing the charges at the court date. The details of your DUI arrest require a close and knowledgeable examination. To obtain the most favorable outcomes, the process of determining an effective defense strategy should begin close to the time of the actual arrest. Depending on the circumstances, the relative merits of going to trial or accepting a plea also deserve careful consideration. The right decision can make a world of difference on the outcome.