Traffic Violation Laws in Tennessee

In Tennessee, the Department of Safety (DOS) sends a letter to drivers who have accumulated between six and eleven points on their licenses. The accumulation of 12 or more points against a license will earn the driver a proposed-suspension notice . The driver can have a hearing to discuss his or her driving privileges before the license is suspended or revoked.

Some of the points assigned for violations in Tennessee include 1 point for speeding from 1 - 5 miles per hours over posted limits, and 2 points for things like sudden speed reduction, failing to signal, and illegally following an emergency vehicle. A driver will earn 3 points for convictions of driving slower than the minimum, improper turns, improperly following vehicles, and excessive speed where no speed is posted. Speeding between 6 and 15 miles per hours above posted limits, driving without a license, accidents resulting in property damage and other vehicle control issues also earn 3 points

Other offenses cause more points to be levied, up to 8 points for the more serious traffic violations like causing an accident that results in a death, driving while impaired, reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, and speeding 46 miles or more above posted limits.

Strict Drunk Driving Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee, unlike many other states, isn't forgiving or lenient for first-time DUI offenders. A first offense carries an automatic 1-year suspension of the individual's driver's license, 24 hours to 11 months and 29 days in jail, and up to $1500 in fines. A teen who has sold, consumed, or possesses alcohol loses his or her license for up to 1 year or until the individual turns 17, whichever comes first. An underage driver convicted of a DUI, not just consumption or possession, sees the minimum jail time doubled to 48 hours.

A first offender who did carry liability insurance at the time of the offense can be given a restricted license to allow him or her to drive back and forth to work, under the judge's discretion. A judge can require an ignition interlock device be installed at a cost to the driver of approximately $800 per year.

A second time offender will spend a minimum of 45 days in jail, lose his or her license for 2 years, and pay up to $3500 in fines. A third offense is worth up to $10,000. The fourth offense is a felony.

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