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How do DUI laws in Alabama differ for people under 21?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | DUI

Anyone who is accused of driving under the influence in Alabama will have legitimate concerns about their future. In addition to the legal penalties they will face including jail time and fines, there are other challenges that could hinder their lives. A driver license suspension is likely and there might be a requirement to have an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle to drive even after the other penalties have been completed. Depending on the circumstances, some people face harsher consequences than others. If the driver is under 21, there is a separate set of rules for the minimum level of alcohol they can have in their system. They must understand this as they mount a defense.

The DUI laws for people under 21 should be known after an arrest

Anyone who gets behind the wheel in Alabama will be charged with DUI if they register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. However, since people under 21 are not legally allowed to drink alcohol at all, the amount the driver can have in his or her system to be charged with DUI is far less at 0.02%. If the driver registers this amount, the driver license will be suspended or revoked. For registering 0.02% to 0.08%, the duration of the suspension is for 30 days immediately.

For a conviction on a first-offense DUI with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.15%, there can be a one-year jail sentence, a fine of at least $600 and as much as $2,100, or both. The license will be suspended for 90 days. However, those who elect to have an ignition interlock device can have a stay of that suspension. The penalties radically increase for subsequent convictions.

Knowing how a DUI can harm the future is key

With school back in session and people under 21 going to events and parties, it is likely that some will drink alcohol even if they are technically under the legal age to do so. They might even compound that by getting behind the wheel. Although a traffic stop and accusations that the underage driver had consumed alcohol will spark fear and concern about the future, there are avenues of defense to consider. Perhaps there were issues with the traffic stop itself, the testing procedure or the driver was not under the influence at all.

Given the challenges that a person can face with a DUI conviction on his or her record, it is useful to consider all the options to formulate a defense. Having experienced assistance from those who are entrenched in the local community can be essential to a criminal defense and achieving a positive outcome. Consulting with those who are aware of the ins and outs of DUI cases is vital from the beginning.