Alabama Drunk Driving Laws

In the state of Alabama, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can lead to several legal issues. There are civil issues and criminal issues.

The civil issues are those concerning a driver’s license.  For a first DUI conviction, the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days.  If during the DUI arrest a driver refuses to take a breath test, has a passenger under the age of 14 within the vehicle, or someone other than the driver is injured during the operation of the vehicle, then the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days and an ignition interlock device shall be installed for a period of two years.  An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that is attached to a car. It prevents the car from starting unless the driver blows into the device. The device then tells whether the driver has any detectable alcohol in their system. Even after the car starts, an interlock device occasionally requires the driver to blow into the device again, as long as the car is below a certain speed. If a driver provides a breath test and the driver’s blood alcohol level .15 or higher, the driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

For a second DUI conviction within a five-year period, the driver’s license will be revoked for one year and an ignition interlock device must be installed for a period of two years.

For a third DUI conviction within a five-year period, the driver’s license will be revoked for three years and an ignition interlock device must be installed for a period of three years.

For a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within a five-year period, the driver’s license will be revoked for five years and an ignition interlock device must be installed for a period of five years.

In addition to revoking a driver’s license and requiring them to use an interlock device, an additional concern with being arrested for DUI is criminal penalties. These can range from fines and/or probation to jail time.  For a first DUI conviction, the driver is facing a fine of at least $600, but not more than $2,100.  A driver can also be sentenced to serve up to a year in jail.  If a driver’s blood alcohol level is .15 or higher, the minimum fine doubles, so the driver is looking at a fine of at least $1,200 in addition to possible jail time.

For a second DUI conviction within a five-year period, the driver is facing a minimum fine of $1,100 and a maximum of $5,100. In addition to fines, a court is able to sentence the driver to a year’s jail time, but at a minimum the driver is facing at least five days in jail or 30 hours of community service.

For a third DUI conviction within a five-year period, the driver is facing a minimum fine of $2,200, which could be as much as $10,100.  In addition the driver is facing a minimum jail sentence of 60 days. However, it is possible a court could sentence the driver up to a maximum of one year in jail.

A fourth DUI conviction within five years is a Class C felony.  The punishment for this offense is a minimum fine of $4,100 and a maximum fine of $10,100.  Jail time for a fourth DUI ranges from a minimum of ten days to a maximum of ten years.

If during any time the driver’s blood alcohol level is .15 or higher (the legal limit being .08), fines and jail sentences must be doubled (for example, a minimum fine of $1,000 will be raised to $2000, ten days in jail raised to twenty days in jail, and so forth).

A conviction can have a serious impact upon the daily lives of those individuals arrested for DUI.  The attorneys at Parkman White, LLP have specialized in the defense of those drivers charged with DUI.  Allow us to walk you through this process.