Chemical Test Refusal and Penalties

Tennessee Implied Consent Violation/TN Chemical Test Refusal

If a person charged with a DUI in Tennessee refuses to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test to determine the drug or alcohol content of his blood, he may also be charged with a TN Implied Consent Violation. The TN Implied Consent Violation is also commonly referred to as a TN Chemical Test Refusal charge. In Tennessee, a chemical test refers to either a blood, breath or urine test. Interestingly, it is the officer, not the driver, who chooses which and how many of these 3 tests to administer.

If a suspect does submit to a blood, breath or urine test, he is then entitled to request an independent test of his choice. However, the officer has no obligation to inform a Tennessee motorist of this right and need only provide very limited assistance in obtaining the independent test. A Tennessee motorist does not have a right to speak with a DUI attorney or anyone else before deciding whether or not to submit to a chemical test.

Certain conditions must exist before a motorist can be found to have violated the Tennessee Implied Consent law and charged with a TN chemical test refusal. In other words, if you refuse to take a chemical (blood, breath or urine) test, your license will not be automatically suspended. Of course, the opposite is also true—you may win your Tennessee DUI case, yet still lose the TN Implied Consent (TN chemical test refusal) case, resulting in loss of license and, in some instances, be required to go to jail. Because of the complexities involved with TN Implied Consent Violation charge, it is important to discuss your case immediately with a knowledgeable Tennessee DUI attorney.

Tennessee Implied Consent Violation Penalties

The following summary of penalties for a TN Implied Consent Violation (TN chemical test refusal) is intended to be general in nature. The exact penalties will vary in each case depending upon the individual facts and circumstances; and therefore, this information should not be relied upon without individual consultation with a well-qualified Tennessee DUI lawyer.

Summary of Tennessee Implied Consent Violation (TN Chemical Test Refusal) Penalties

 

 

NO PRIOR CONVICTIONS

 

PRIOR CONVICTION(S) FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES1

INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WITH SERIOUS BODILY INJURY

INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WITH DEATH

 

REFUSED TEST WHILE CERTAIN CONDITIONS PRESENT2

OFFENSE CATEGORY

Not Criminal

Not Criminal

 

Not Criminal

 

Not Criminal

Criminal

Class A Misdemeanor

PROBATIONARY PERIOD

None

None

None

None

11 months, 29 days

JAIL TIME

None

None

None

None

Mandatory Minimum 5 days to 11 months, 29 days

FINE

None

None

None

None

Up to $1,000.00

LICENSE REVOCATION

1 year

2 years

2 years

5 years

1 to 5 years depending upon the circumstances

RESTRICTED DRIVER’S LICENSE

Yes

Yes

Possible

Possible

Possible

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE

Possible

Possible

Possible

Possible

Possible

1TN Chemical Test Refusal with Prior Conviction(s) of one of the following: Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Adult Driving While Impaired (DWI); Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication; Aggravated Vehicular Assault; or Vehicular Assault by Intoxication.

2TN Chemical Test Refusal While Driving on a Revoked, Suspended, or Cancelled License because of Conviction for: Vehicular Assault; Vehicular Homicide; Aggravated Vehicular Homicide; or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

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