College students should know that the state of Tennessee has harsh penalties for those individuals under the age of 21 who are found driving under the influence (DUI), in possession of alcohol, or with false identification. Tennessee also enforces public safety laws that make it illegal to disturb the peace of others, commonly called disorderly conduct.
Tennessee's drinking laws
The legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21 years of age. Individuals under the age of 21 years who are found operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% or more can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). You are required, under “implied consent” laws, to submit to a blood test if a police officer has probable cause and you are charged with a DUI. Refusal to participate in the tests results in revocation of your driver's license for one year, or, if it is your second or third offense, your license will be revoked for two years.
Drivers charged with driving under the influence (DUI) face stiff penalties. If it is your first offense, you face fines, driver's license suspension for one year, and imprisonment for a period of 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days. If it is your second DUI offense within 10 years of the first conviction, the penalty is suspension of your driver's license for two years, imprisonment for a period of 45 days to one year, and fines in the amount of $600 to $3,500.
Tennessee minor in possession laws
In Tennessee, it is illegal for an individual under the age of 21 to purchase, attempt to purchase, consume, or possess alcohol. Violation of this law is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Those charged may face criminal penalties and have their license suspended. Minors who are convicted of underage consumption, possession, or transportation may file a petition with the court to have their conviction record destroyed six months after the date of the violation.
Misrepresenting your age to purchase or consume alcohol is considered a misdemeanor in Tennessee. Those convicted face criminal penalties: those between the age of 18 and 20 may face jail time of between 5 and 30 days, fines of between $50 and $200, and license suspension of up to one year. Minors under the age of 18 years may have their driver's license suspended, be subject to a fine of up to $50, and complete at least 20 hours of community service.
Tennessee disorderly conduct laws
The state of Tennessee has laws to protect its residents and visitors from unreasonably offensive behavior. Disorderly conduct includes: fighting or exhibiting behavior that is threatening, being unreasonably noisy in public with the intent to annoy others, failure to obey an official order to disperse during an emergency, or creating dangerous conditions without a legitimate purpose. Public intoxication – appearing in public under the influence of alcohol or another substance — is also illegal.
Are you a minor facing charges? Don't panic, contact our Murfreesboro underage DUI lawyers for help
If you are under the age of 21 and have been charged with underage drinking, underage DUI, possession of alcohol, false identification, or disorderly conduct, don't panic, call our tenacious Murfreesboro DUI lawyers. At Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law, we share a combined 40 years of criminal law experience and a track record of success. We advocate on behalf of those charged, reaching the best possible outcome in each case. Give us a call at 615-890-1982 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Whatever your situation, we have seen it before and we can help.