Alabama DUI Laws
One of the most severe Alabama traffic tickets is the DUI, which can be a damaging blow to your driving record. Alabama is an ‘implied consent’ state, which means that all drivers must submit to a drug or alcohol test if ordered to do so by a law enforcement officer (simply operating a motor vehicle in the state implies your consent). A breathalyzer is the most common test, but urine, hair, or blood samples can also be legally requested. Should you refuse, your license can be revoked.
If your blood alcohol content (B.A.C.) is found to be equal to or above 0.08%, or if drugs are found in your system that impair your ability to drive (including prescription medication), you will be given a DUI citation and penalties will ensue.
Alabama DUI Penalties
A first-time violation of Alabama DUI laws can mean jail time of up to a year, but there is no mandatory minimum sentence. You will be handed a fine of up to $2,000 as well as a 90-day license suspension. DUI traffic school will also be mandated should you be convicted of the violation.
A second violation will mean at least 48 consecutive hours of jail time, as well as 20 hours of community service. Your fine will rise to as much as $5,000, and your driver’s license will be suspended for a year. There will also be a mandatory fee of $100 dedicated to the Impaired Driver’s Trust Fund.
The jail time for the first two sentences can be suspended in course of trial, but a third conviction within five years of the first will mean mandatory jail time of at least 60 days and up to a year. You could also receive a fine of up to $10,000, and your driver’s license will be revoked for a period of three years.
Policies vary, but insurance companies are generally unforgiving about DUI convictions. One violation can easily triple your premiums, and subsequent violations can drain your financial resources considerably. Remember, you can’t drive without insurance, and insurance rates can become prohibitive if violation of Alabama DUI laws continues. Financially, it can be the single greatest burden of a conviction, especially since the additional cost will follow you, month to month, for the foreseeable future.
Alabama DUI penalties are severe by design, to drive home the point that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is deeply unsafe. Aside from jeopardizing your driving license, you’re putting yourself and everyone else on the road in danger. It’s something you should take seriously as a driver, and once you do there are effective ways of avoiding Alabama DUI laws – by making sure you don’t violate them.
Consider appointing a designated driver if you’ll be drinking for the evening, or simply taking a cab and picking your car up the next day. If you’re going to be out on the town, public transit may be the way to go. What’s most important is staying vigilant about the possibility of a DUI that can compromise your driving record and endanger lives.
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