No matter where it happens, operating a vehicle on public roads while intoxicated poses a serious threat to everyone. Because of the hazard drinking and driving creates for every driver, every state in the nation has laws that establish penalties for driving while under the influence. However, almost every state's DUI laws are unique and Alabama is no exception.
Just like every other state in the nation, the legal blood alcohol content limit (BAC) in Alabama is 0.08%, but Alabama has its own set of limitations and penalties for DUI convictions.
DUI laws in Alabama
If you are convicted of a DUI in the state of Alabama, you will face both administrative and criminal penalties. These penalties are a consequence of the first DUI charge and every DUI charge after that. The severity of the penalties increases with the number of offenses.
· First offense - No jail time, but a fine of between $600 and $2,100 and the driver's license suspended for 90 days.
· Second offense - 5 days of jail time, a fine of between $1,111 and $5,100 and the driver's license suspended for up to a year.
· Third offense - 60 days of jail time, a fine of between $2,100 and $10,000 and the driver's license suspended for up to 3 years.
· Fourth offense - 1 year of jail time, a fine of between $4,100 and $10,000 and the driver's license suspended for up to 5 years.
The state of Alabama also has what is known as a "lookback period." This lookback period is the amount of time wherein an additional DUI charge will be counted against a person and it is 5 years in Alabama.
For example, if a person was charged with a DUI and then 3 years later they were charged with another, the second charge would count as a second offense. However, if a person was charged with a DUI and then charged with another after a period of 6 years, the newest charge would still count as a first conviction.
In addition to the DUI laws, the state of Alabama also has an implied consent law. According to this law, by having a valid driver's license and by operating a vehicle on public roads, a person is consenting to submit to a chemical test if they are requested to do so. While you can choose not to take a chemical test, refusals have their own consequences.
· First refusal - 90 day driver's license suspension.
· Second refusal - 1 year driver's license suspension.
Any additional refusals are treated like a second refusal and the driver's license will be immediately suspended for a period of 1 year.
Because of the enormous potential for damage and injury, driving under the influence of any intoxicant should never be treated lightly. If, however, you find yourself in a situation where you are facing a DUI conviction, it is suggested that you seek out the services of an experienced legal professional. They will be able to work will you to minimize the impact of a conviction on your life.