Primary DUI conviction is a misdemeanor and includes a suspension of driver’s privilege for 90 days. There is a 10 day period in which a person arrested for DUI may hire a lawyer to petition the Alabama Department of Public Safety to keep his/her driver’s license with restrictions. After 10 days the 90 day suspension is mandatory and complete. Fines range from $600-$2,100 and may be accompanied by up to 365 days incarceration in a county or municipal jail. Court-approved alcohol and substance abuse program is required. Alabama carries a 5 year look-back period, meaning that if a second offense occurs 5 years after a first conviction it will be considered a first offense, as long as no one was killed or seriously injured as the result of an accident in which the defendant was involved at the time he/she was arrested for DUI. DUI offenses in Alabama trigger both a criminal case and a Department of Public Safety driver’s license case concurrently.
If a second DUI offense is committed within the 5-year look-back period it will be considered a misdemeanor and carries a jail term from 5-365 days in a county or municipal jail, with a fine between $1,100 and $5,100 and a 1 year driver’s license suspension. Court-approved alcohol and substance abuse program is required. 30 days Community service may be ordered by the court instead of jail time.
Third DUI offense in a misdemeanor and carries a jail term of 60 days to 1 year in a county or municipal jail, with a fine between $2,100 and $10,100 and a 3 year driver’s license suspension. Court-approved alcohol and substance abuse program is required.
Fourth and beyond DUI offense is considered a Class C felony and carries a jail term of 1 year and one day to 10 years, with a fine between $4,100 and $10,100 and a 5 year driver’s license suspension. Court-approved alcohol and substance abuse program is required.
Alabama Implied Consent Laws
Alabama Implied Consent laws state “Any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state shall be deemed to have given his consent to a chemical test or tests of his blood, breath, or urine to determine blood alcohol content.” Failure to consent to a BAC test results in a mandatory 90-day suspension of driver’s license with no chance to petition for a restricted license. Any person inside a vehicle, regardless if they are actually driving at the time, is subject to BAC testing and can be arrested for DUI if it can be shown that the had physical control of a vehicle during a period of intoxication. For example, a person parked on the side of the road, asleep, with keys in their pocket, can be tried for DUI in Alabama.
Alabama “Per se” BAC Level
It is a crime in Alabama to drive with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, and a charge based on body chemistry can be brought regardless of driving ability and actual level of impairment, field-sobriety test results, etc.
Alabama “Zero Tolerance” BAC Level
Zero Tolerance blood alcohol level (BAC) for underage drivers is .02%. Any underage driver with a BAC from .02%-.079% will have his/her license suspended for 30 days.
Alabama “Enhanced Penalty” BAC Level
No Enhanced Penalty laws are used in Alabama.
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