December 5, 2023

Securing a Restricted License Following a DUI Conviction in Tennessee

In Tennessee, individuals face mandatory license revocation in the event of a DUI conviction, regardless of any prior clean criminal record. However, there is potential for obtaining a restricted license in many cases. This specialized license permits lawful driving post-suspension or revocation, subject to conditions outlined in the court order. Eligibility for a restricted license hinges on adherence to Tennessee law, with certain disqualifying factors such as a DUI resulting in a fatal car accident or causing severe bodily harm to another person. Furthermore, prior convictions for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault also render one ineligible.

Sometimes, courts grant a restricted license with geographical limitations. Drivers with such restrictions are only permitted to drive to specified locations and addresses outlined in the court order, strictly during the designated days and times. Permissible destinations under a restricted license might include the workplace, educational institutions, court-mandated alcohol safety programs or substance abuse treatment programs, meetings with a probation officer, or regular places of worship. Additionally, the court may mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of the restricted license, depending on the nature of the DUI offense.

Applicants have a 10-day window, upon receipt of the court order, to apply for a restricted license at a Tennessee Driver Services Center. For those required to use an ignition interlock device, installation must precede the application process, and documentation of the installation must accompany the application. Furthermore, proof of liability insurance and payment of requisite license and application fees are mandatory. Approval of the application necessitates strict adherence to the terms outlined in the court order throughout the restricted license period.

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