Tennessee is again increasing penalties for multiple DUI offenders. The 2016 Tennessee General Assembly amended Tennessee Code Annotated §55-10-402 to penalize more severely those who are convicted with six or more DUI convictions. This change applies to anyone committing an offense on or after July 1, 2016.
As the law currently stands, a conviction for a 4th or subsequent DUI offense is a Class E Felony, which has a punishment range of 1-6 years. Accordingly, the law does not change how 4th and 5th offense convictions are classified. However, after June 30, 2016, a person who commits and is convicted of a 6th or subsequent DUI offense will be sentenced as a Class C Felon, which carries a sentencing range of 3-15 years.
This means the mandatory minimum jail sentence for a person convicted of a sixth or subsequent DUI conviction will not change from 150 days, but the maximum sentence will increase from six years to fifteen years of incarceration. This highlights the importance of hiring a well-qualified DUI defense lawyer.
About the Author: Steven Oberman has been licensed in Tennessee since 1980, and successfully defended over 2,500 DUI defendants. Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) and currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee. Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be Board Certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the NCDD.
He is the author of DUI: The Crime & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 7th edition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen). Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions. He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 30 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries.
The author would like to thank his associate attorney, Anna Rickels, for her research and contributions to this article.
If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.tndui.com
 Tennessee Code Annotated §40-35-111