DUI and DWI in Alabama

A DUI arrest in Alabama triggers two separate cases, a criminal case and a Department of Public Safety drivers’ license case. It is important for you to know the possible repercussions. If you’ve been arrested in Alabama for DUI, you have ten days to set up a hearing to save your Alabama drivers’ license.

The Court: Two Theories

Alabama DUI charges can be brought against someone whose physical or mental capabilities are impaired by an intoxicant. It relates to the driver’s impaired ability to drive a vehicle in Alabama.

Alternatively, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 per cent or higher, you can be charged with DUI regardless of whether you’re actually impaired. It is based solely on blood alcohol content and is not affected by your ability to actually drive.

Below is a table outling the general fines and penalties for a DUI conviction in Alabama.

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $600-2,100 Up to 1 year
90 Days
2nd Conviction $1,100-5,100 2 days to 1 year
1 Year
3rd Conviction $2,100-10,100 60 days - 1 year 3 Years
4th Conviction $4,100-10,100 1 - 10 years
5 Years

In the case of minors, a BAC of 0.02 per cent or higher will constitute as driving under the influence.  Minors will receive a 30 day license suspension and will be expected to pay the same fines as adults.  Enrolment in a chemical abuse treatment program may also be required.

Actual Physical Control

In Alabama, you don’t actually have to be caught driving the car. Under Alabama DUI law, just being in the car might be enough. For example, a person sleeping in, or just sitting in, the driver's seat may be charged with DUI.

Chemical Testing Requirements

According to the implied consent law of Alabama, any person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to chemical testing to determine the amount of alcohol in his or her blood.  This can take the form of a urine test, breath test, or blood test if consent is given.

Tests must be administered by someone qualified with a valid permit using methods approved by the Department of Forensic Scientists.  Blood tests must be administered by a nurse, doctor, or other qualified individual.  Drivers accused of a DUI offense also have the right to request a second, independent, chemical test at their own expense.

Penalties for Non-Cooperation

If you refuse to take a blood-alcohol test, you’re guaranteed a 90 day drivers’ license suspension with no chance for a restricted license for that period. The prosecutor will use your refusal against you in your criminal case as well, arguing that under Alabama law this refusal implies consciousness of guilt. A skilled attorney could rebut these arguments.

Criminal Punishment

Your first Alabama DUI conviction in your lifetime is a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, you may face significant jail time and a fine of up to $2,100. Your license will be suspended 90 days.

If you are convicted of a second DUI within five years of the first, it will be treated as a second offense. You will receive a jail term of between two and up to 365 days. Either two days of jail time or twenty days of community service will be mandatory.  Your license will also be suspended for a year. If your second conviction is more than five years after the first, you will be tried as a first-time offender.

Your third DUI will get at least 60 days but not more than a year of jail time, and up to a $10,100 fine. Your license will be suspended for three years.

Elevation to a Felony charge

Your fourth DUI within your lifetime is charged as a felony, as are any subsequent DUI arrests. You will be faced with imprisoned for a minimum of one year and one day, and a maximum of 10 years, face a fine of up to $10,100, and have your drivers’ license suspended for five years.  With a fourth conviction, there is a mandatory 10 day jail stay after which there is the possibility of suspension or probation of the remainder of the sentence if you enter a chemical treatment program or agrees to house arrest.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a DUI charge, find a qualified DUI attorney in you area.

 

NOLODRUPAL-web2:DRU1.6.12.2.20161011.41205