Restricted licenses in Tennessee are available to many but not all people convicted of driving under the influence. Because a conviction for DUI, or a refusal to take a chemical test to determine blood alcohol (even if you later on beat the DUI), triggers an automatic revocation of your license, you need to understand how restricted licenses work in Tennessee.

As the name indicates, a restricted license comes with certain restrictions. It’s not just like being given a new (unrestricted) license all over again. Driving is a privilege in Tennessee, not a right, and DUI offenders who are allowed to drive again are placed under certain conditions.

Let me first point out that in cases where someone was killed or seriously injured as part of the DUI, you will not be allowed to receive a restricted license. In those cases your license will be suspended for the period required by law, and you cannot have it reinstated until the suspension is over.

Tennessee Ignition Interlock Devices

Tennessee restricted licenses may or may not require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID will be required in the following cases:

  • Where the driver had a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher
  • The driver’s breath or blood alcohol concentration contained both alcohol and marijuana a controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, drug, or any substance affecting the central nervous system;
  • The driver was accompanied by someone under the age of 18 at the time of driving;
  • The driver was in an accident that required the police to be notified, and the accident was a result of the driver’s intoxication;
    • Implied consent violation;
    • Underage driving while impaired;
    • The open container law; or
    • Reckless driving, if the charged offense was DUI.

So when and where can you drive on a restricted license? Only to go to and from work, meeting with your probation officer, court ordered alcohol safety programs, college or university classes for full-time students, interlock monitoring appointments, and court ordered alcohol or drug treatment. That’s it. However, if you are granted a restricted license without the requirement of an IID, you can request that the court order the IID instead of those restrictions I just listed.

Losing your license is one of the biggest consequences of a DUI conviction. For some, it could mean losing a job. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in Shelby County, TN, you need to do everything possible to keep your driver’s license. For help, contact Memphis DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall today.