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Your Guide to Alabama DUI Laws and Penalties

It’s stated that every 50 minutes, someone is killed or injured in a drunk driving accident. It causes a quarter of all collision-based fatalities on the road.

That’s why many states are so serious about it. In most places in the US, if you’re caught drinking and driving, you’ll have to pay serious consequences in the form of imprisonment and hefty fees. You could also have your license suspended for a certain number of days.

Alabama DUI laws dictate that you must attend a mandatory substance abuse treatment program. That’s only the beginning. Check out this guide to learn more about what will happen if you’re charged with a DUI in the state of Alabama.

What Is a DUI?

DUI is short for driving under the influence. It’s that act of operating a vehicle while drunk or impaired by other drugs.

Keep in mind that other drugs also include prescription and over-the-counter medications. If your migraine pills interfere with your ability to drive in any way, you could get hit with DUI penalties in Alabama.

Imprisonment or Fines

According to Alabama DUI law, for your first offense, you could face up to a year in jail or have to pay a fine of up to $2,000.

Depending on the severity of the charge, you may face jail time and have to pay a fine.

Driver’s License Suspension 

For a first DUI offense in Alabama, your license will be under suspension for 90 days if your blood alcohol concentration level is below .15. If you can’t afford an extended license suspension, you can elect to have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle instead. This is a small breathalyzer that prevents drivers from starting their vehicle until they blow into it.

Let’s say that you refused to take a breathalyzer test when the cops pulled you over or you were caught with a BAC of over .15. Not only will you face a license suspension, but you’ll also have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for up to a year.

Substance Abuse Treatment

If you’re convicted of a DUI, the state will require you to enter a substance abuse treatment program. If you live out of state, you don’t have to stay in Alabama during the duration of the program. You can take one in your hometown.

Before choosing a program, you’ll need to talk to Alabama DUI attorneys near me. They’ll make sure the program you enter satisfies all of the state’s requirements.

There are three different substance abuse treatment levels you should be aware of.

Level 1 

A level 1 program will require you to sit through a 12-hour presentation. During this presentation, you’ll learn all about the DUI laws in the state of Alabama and the effects that certain drugs have on drivers.

This level of treatment is reserved for those deemed not to have a substance abuse problem.

Level 2

Level 2 programs provide much of the same information that level 1 programs do. On top of learning about substances and the laws surrounding them, you’ll hear presentations on substance abuse patterns, and family support systems.

A level 2 treatment program will require you to attend self-help meetings as well. The entire process will take 24 hours in total.

Level 3

Level 3 treatment programs are for those who have a substance abuse issue. You’ll have to take a mental health evaluation.

You’ll also have to attend an inpatient or outpatient program.

Look-Back Period 

If you’re charged with a second DUI within a ten-year look-back period, the circumstances will be severe. You could face up to a year in jail and pay a fine of up to $5,100.

For a second offense, your license will be revoked for a year unless you attend a mandatory substance abuse program and have an ignition interlock system installed on your vehicle.

Out-of-State Drivers 

If you’re visiting Alabama, you will have the privilege to drive in the state revoked if you’re charged with a DUI during your stay. Additionally, Alabama will report the incident to your home state.

Once you return home, your state will likely honor the license suspension. You will also have to take a mandatory substance abuse program that meets Alabama’s standards.

Consequences of Multiple Convictions 

Most of the laws that we’ve been over so far are for those facing their first conviction. The consequences get more severe for second, third, and fourth offenses.

Second

For a second offense, you could spend up to a year in jail or have to do 30 hours of community service. You may also have to pay a fee of $1,100. That price can go up to as high as $5,100, depending on the situation.

Attending a substance abuse treatment program is mandatory. If you don’t, your license will be suspended for up to a year.

Third 

Third-time offenders don’t have the community service option. They have to spend a minimum of 60 days in jail and pay up to a $10,000 fine.

You’ll have your license suspended for 3 years, and have to have an interlock system installed on your vehicle. You’ll also be required to enter a substance abuse program.

Fourth

Your fourth offense will fall into a class C felony. You could spend up to 10 years in jail and pay a hefty $10,100 fee.

Your license will be suspended for 5 years, and you’ll have to undergo substance abuse treatment.

Your Guide to Alabama DUI Laws 

As you can see, Alabama DUI laws can be strict, but this is true for almost every state due to the devastation that drunk driving can cause.

If you’re caught drinking and driving in Alabama, you’ll face jail time and a hefty fee. You’ll also have to attend a mandatory substance abuse treatment program.

For more information on DUI rules and penalties, visit the Criminal Law section of our blog.

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