Common Misconceptions About DUI Arrests in Tennessee

When it comes to DUI arrests in Tennessee, misinformation and misconceptions abound. In this blog post, we aim to provide factual insights and dispel common myths surrounding DUI arrests in the state. By understanding the truth behind these misconceptions, individuals can make informed decisions and take appropriate actions if faced with a DUI charge in Tennessee.

Myth: You Have to Be “Drunk” to Get a DUI.

Fact: In Tennessee, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) even if you’re not “drunk” in the traditional sense. The legal threshold for DUI is having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher for drivers aged 21 and over. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%, and for individuals under 21, any detectable amount of alcohol in their system constitutes a DUI offense.

Myth: You Can Refuse a Breathalyzer Test Without Consequences.

Fact: Tennessee operates under an implied consent law, which means that by operating a motor vehicle in the state, you implicitly consent to chemical testing if suspected of DUI. Refusing to take a breathalyzer or blood test can result in automatic license suspension and other penalties, regardless of whether you’re ultimately convicted of DUI.

Myth: Field Sobriety Tests Are Mandatory.

Fact: Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are not mandatory in Tennessee. You have the right to refuse to participate in these tests, although refusal may lead to other consequences, such as arrest. Additionally, field sobriety tests are subjective and can be influenced by factors unrelated to intoxication, such as age or physical condition.

Myth: You Can’t Fight a DUI Charge.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to fight a DUI charge in Tennessee. A skilled DUI defense attorney can examine the circumstances of your arrest, challenge the legality of the traffic stop or arrest, and scrutinize the accuracy of chemical test results. With the right defense strategy, it may be possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Myth: Hiring a Lawyer Is Too Expensive.

Fact: While legal representation does come with costs, the potential consequences of a DUI conviction far outweigh the expense of hiring a qualified attorney. A DUI conviction can result in fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, increased insurance premiums, and even jail time. Investing in competent legal representation is often a wise decision to protect your rights and mitigate the impact of a DUI charge.


Understanding the truth behind common misconceptions about DUI arrests in Tennessee is essential for anyone facing or at risk of facing DUI charges. By debunking these myths and gaining factual insights into Tennessee’s DUI laws and procedures, individuals can make informed decisions, protect their rights, and take proactive steps to address DUI allegations effectively. When faced with a DUI charge in Tennessee, seeking legal representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney is crucial for achieving the best possible outcome for your case.