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Can Passengers of a Drunk Driver Be Charged with DUI in Tennessee?

Posted on in DUI/DWI

Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

Perhaps you and a friend were enjoying a few drinks after work and your friend claims that he or she is sober enough to drive. However, you may wonder if you will be also held responsible if your friend is charged with a DUI? The short answer: Yes. Under Tennessee legislation, anyone who gets into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver is equally responsible in determining whether or not the driver is in a fit state to be behind the wheel. The details of this Tennessee law are explained below, but remember that if you are ever charged with a DUI, it is imperative that you seek assistance from an experienced Tennessee attorney to avoid a criminal conviction.

Tennessee’s DUI By Consent Law

Like in all areas of the country, Tennessee drivers who have blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit can face significant punishment that corresponds to how many times they have committed the offense. However, the driver may not be the only person subject to criminal charges. Any passengers who have agreed to let that person drive will be given the exact same DUI charges through Tennessee’s DUI By Consent law. For example, if a passenger and an intoxicated driver are both given their first DUI charge, they may face at least 48 hours of jail time, their licenses revoked, fined, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, and more. 

A person does not even have to be present in the vehicle to be charged with DUI By Consent. This provision of the law is strict enough that a Greeneville, Tenn. resident loaned his car to his brother so that his brother could get to and from work. However, when his brother was charged with a DUI, the owner of the vehicle received the charge as well.

Preventing a DUI By Consent Charge

Getting into a vehicle with someone or loaning your car to a friend or family member tasks you with great responsibility. If you are ever the least bit concerned that the driver is or will not be sober enough to drive safely and be under the legal blood alcohol limit, it is imperative that you confront him or her about it. This is not just to avoid a charge, but for your, the driver’s, and others’ safety.

Contact a Campbell County Criminal Defense Attorney

With Tennessee’s DUI By Consent law, there are far more situations in which someone can be charged with a DUI other than just driving while intoxicated. If you or a loved one is facing these or similar criminal charges, a highly qualified Jacksboro, TN DUI defense lawyer can help you minimize their consequences or avoid a conviction altogether. At The Law Office of William J. Evans, we will offer you the legal support and counsel that you need and deserve. Call us today at 423-449-7980 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.tn.gov/safety/publicsafety/duioutline.html

http://web.utk.edu/~khood3/jem222/stories/DUILaws#:~:text=Under%20new%20Tennessee%20law%20you,and%20have%20your%20licenses%20revoked

 

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