What Is a DUI in Alabama?
Each state in the nation has the autonomy to set its own DUI – driving under the influence – limits and penalties. In Alabama, the definition of driving under the influence is found in Section 32-5A-191 of Alabama code, as are the penalties for a DUI conviction. If you have been charged with a DUI in Alabama, it is within your best interest to seek the counsel of an experience DUI attorney immediately.
Defining a DUI in Alabama
The section of Alabama code cited above reads that a person shall not drive or be in control of any physical vehicle while:
- Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or greater;
- Under the influence of alcohol;
- Under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving; or
- Under the influence of any substance or combination of substances that renders the person incapable of safely driving.
The laws above apply to those persons who are of the legal drinking age (21) or older; the laws for those under 21 years of age are much stricter. To be sure, a person who is under the legal drinking age shall neither drive nor be in control of a vehicle with a BAC of .02 percent or higher.
The laws are also more stringent, and the penalties more severe, for drivers of commercial vehicles, school bus drivers and day care drivers. For the former group, driving with a BAC of .04 percent or greater is a violation of the law; for the latter group, operating a vehicle with a BAC of .02 percent or greater is prohibited. If you drive a commercial vehicle and you’ve been cited for driving under the influence, you need to contact an experienced Alabama DUI attorney to make sure your rights are protected.
Alabama DUI Penalties
A clear outline of the penalties for a DUI conviction in Alabama is outlined by the State of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. A first DUI conviction is punishable by:
- Prison time of up to one year;
- Fine of up to $2,000;
- License suspension of 90 days’ time; and
- Mandatory DUI school attendance.
The penalties for a subsequent DUI conviction are even harsher, and begin with a mandatory 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment or mandatory 20 hours of community service. The fine for a second conviction increases to up to $5,000, and driver’s license revocation increases to one year.
If a person commits a DUI offense four times or more, the crime is classified as a Class C Felony, and penalties include imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and a driver’s license revocation of five years. Of course, penalties are also increased if BAC is excessively high (i.e. .15 percent or greater), or if the person causes property damage or bodily injury while operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
In addition to criminal penalties, the Alabama point system will also be used to penalize drivers, which could result in license suspension or revocation.
Contact an Experienced Alabama DUI Attorney
Being convicted of driving under the influence can change your life. If you are facing DUI charges in Alabama, remember that a charge is not a conviction. By working with an aggressive Alabama DUI attorney, you can build a strong defense, explore your options for a plea bargain, and improve your chances of mitigating the harshest of penalties. Contact the Law Office of Ginger Poynter, LLC at (251) 445-8313 today for a free case consultation or utilize our online contact form.