If you were arrested in Alabama for a DUI, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s) to the extent that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. Alabama is unique in the sense that Alabama is “physical control state” meaning you don’t have to be necessarily driving a vehicle. Just being inside the vehicle in the driver’s seat may result in DUI charges and a DUI conviction.
When you are arrested for a Alabama DUI, two separate cases start. There is the criminal court case, which determines fines, jail time, community service, and other similar items. There is also the administrative side with the Alabama Department of Public Safety case, which determines your licensing issues and can determine your DUI school.
IMPORTANT: ALABAMA LAW STATES THAT YOU HAVE 10 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. It is crucial that you or your attorney schedules this hearing to avoid further problems with your driver’s license, including an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
ALABAMA DUI PENALTIES
If you are convicted of Alabama DUI charges, you can expect to pay substantial fines and be subject to various penalties, depending on the circumstances. If you are convicted of your first Alabama DUI, your fines can range from well into the thousands of dollars. While there is no minimum jail time for a first offense, you could spend up to a year in jail. Having a minor under fourteen years of age in the vehicle will double any minimum jail time.
ALABAMA DUI LAWYER
A DUI arrest is not a DUI conviction. Alabama DUI attorneys defend DUI offenses and drunk driving cases in Alabama. A good Alabama DUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases that you’re facing and offer DUI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI charges and the administrate case with DPS regarding a license suspension or revocation. Additionally, Alabama DUI laws do not require that the person be caught driving the car. Alabama is a “actual physical control” state. That means that just being in the car whether sleeping or sitting in the front seat may be enough for police to charge you with DUI. An experienced Alabama DUI attorney will be able to assist you with a “physical control” defense.
ALABAMA DUI SCHOOL
If you are convicted of Alabama DUI, in addition to fines and penalties, you will also be required to complete DUI school in order to restore your license by the Alabama DPS. In Alabama, you will have your license suspended for 90 days if convicted on a first offense. Alabama DUI school courses require a minimum of 20 hours of DUI school classroom instruction and aim to deter those convicted of Alabama DUI to not become repeat offenders through the use of interactive educational techniques.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Alabama has a “look-back period” – which means if you get a 2nd DUI within 5 years of your first, you will be charged as a second-time, repeat offender.