After another long work week, there is nothing quite like heading to the bar with some friends. Socialization and a few drinks can help relieve the week’s stress. On the way home, red and blue lights flash from behind — you are getting pulled over again. One shaky field sobriety test later, and the officer charges you with another DUI.
This scene is all too common on Alabama roads, where citizens pay a steep price for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The punishments get more severe with each subsequent charge. Those who understand the consequences of committing multiple DUIs in Alabama will have a better chance of defending themselves in court and protecting their rights.
Extended sentences and higher fines face multiple DUI offenders
Alabama law uses the national .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) standard for impaired driving. People in “actual physical control” of the vehicle, and with a BAC of .08 or more, incur a DUI charge. Being in “actual physical control” is different from driving — you may incur a DUI for simply being in your vehicle.
Alabama also uses “implied consent,” meaning that all drivers arrested for a DUI automatically consent to a blood alcohol test. Refusing to do so may result in a license suspension lasting 90 days, in addition to other DUI penalties.
Those charged with a DUI face the following punishments:
- 1st offense: First-time offenders may spend up to one year in jail, owe between $600 and $2,100 in fines, face license suspension for 90 days, and drive with an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months beyond that. If your BAC was higher than .15, the courts might require a longer period with the IID.
- 2nd offense: A second DUI within ten years of the first results in increased penalties. Offenders face a minimum of five days in jail, pay between $1,100 and $1,500 in fines, lose their license for up to one year, and drive with an IID for two years after that.
- 3rd offense: For a third offense, minimum jail time increases to 60 days, fines can hit $10,000, you lose your license for three years, and will drive with an IID for three years.
Everyone convicted of a DUI in Alabama must also take a substance abuse evaluation and the associated recovery programming.
A reliable legal defense can make all the difference
All DUI punishments vary on the circumstances of the case. You may find more success defending yourself and protecting your rights alongside a local attorney familiar with protecting the legal rights of Alabama’s citizens.