Finding A DUI Lawyer in Alabama
DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a serious offense in Alabama. It is a criminal charge that can lead to serious consequences, including fines, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, then finding one of the best DUI lawyers in Alabama is crucial for a successful DUI defense.
For anyone charged with a DUI in Alabama, it is important to understand the specifics of Alabama DUI law. Knowing exactly what you’re up against can help you find the best Alabama DUI lawyer for your specific case. Here we will explore all aspects of DUI charges in Alabama as well as the specific ways a top-rated Alabama DUI attorney can help you beat a DUI conviction.
DUI vs DWI in Alabama
In Alabama, as in several other states, the terms DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably in everyday conversations. However, from a legal perspective, the state of Alabama predominantly uses the term DUI in its statutes. This term is used in its legal proceedings to refer to the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DWI, as a separate legal classification, is not commonly used in Alabama.
DUI in Alabama
Alabama’s DUI law, codified under Code of Alabama 1975, § 32-5A-191, specifies the conditions under which a driver can be charged with DUI:
- BAC Level: Operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher for drivers over the age of 21. For commercial drivers, the BAC limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21, it’s 0.02%.
- Under the Influence: Driving while under the influence of any substance. This includes alcohol, controlled substances, or any substance affecting the mental or physical faculties to a degree that renders the driver incapable of safely driving.
- Combination of Substances: Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug to a degree that impairs safe driving.
DWI in Alabama
While DWI is recognized and used in other states, often to distinguish between different levels of alcohol influence, Alabama law does not differentiate between DUI and DWI. The term DWI is more colloquial and not specifically used in the legal language of the state. Whether a person is impaired due to alcohol or drugs, the charge would fall under the DUI category in Alabama.
DUI Arrests Rates in Alabama
According to statistics from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the rate of DUI arrests in Alabama has been declining over the past few years. In 2017, there were 19,331 DUI arrests in Alabama, which equates to a rate of 3.95 arrests per 1,000 people. In 2018, the number of DUI arrests decreased to 18,042, or a rate of 3.68 arrests per 1,000 people.
The rate of DUI arrests continued to decline in 2019, with a total of 16,726 arrests, or a rate of 3.39 arrests per 1,000 people.
This trend underlines the urgency for individuals accused of drunk driving in Alabama to secure robust legal representation. Indeed, with the state’s stringent drunk driving penalties, having an experienced Alabama DUI defense attorney can often spell the difference between severe consequences and an opportunity to regain control of one’s life.
It is worth noting that the decrease in the rate of DUI arrests in Alabama does not necessarily mean that fewer people are driving under the influence. It may be a reflection of changes in Alabama law enforcement tactics, changes in the behavior of drivers or police officers, or other factors. Regardless, it is important to remember that DUI is a serious offense and can lead to severe criminal charges.
Penalties for DUI in Alabama
The penalties for DUI in Alabama depend on several factors, including the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), prior DUI convictions, and other aggravating circumstances. These penalties reflect the state’s strict stance on DUI offenses as criminal cases, emphasizing both punitive and rehabilitative measures.
It’s important to note that individual circumstances and the specifics of each case can influence the final penalties imposed. Legal representation by an experienced DUI attorney in Alabama can provide guidance and potentially mitigate these penalties.
The following is a general overview of the penalties for DUI in Alabama:
First DUI Offense in Alabama
- Jail Time: Up to one year in a municipal or county jail (not mandatory for first offense).
- Fines: Ranging from $600 to $2,100.
- License Suspension: Mandatory 90-day suspension, but the offender may be eligible for an ignition interlock device to obtain driving privileges.
- DUI School: Mandatory attendance in a state-certified substance abuse program.
- Probation: Possible probation in place of jail time.
Second DUI Offense in Alabama
- Jail Time: Mandatory minimum of 48 hours, up to one year, or a minimum of 20 days of community service.
- Fines: Ranging from $1,100 to $5,100.
- License Suspension: Mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension, with the possibility of an ignition interlock device after 45 days.
- DUI School: Required completion of a state-certified substance abuse program.
- Vehicle Impoundment or Immobilization: Potential for 90 days.
Third DUI Offense in Alabama
- Jail Time: Mandatory minimum of 60 days (which cannot be suspended or probated) up to one year.
- Fines: Ranging from $2,100 to $10,100.
- License Suspension: Mandatory three-year driver’s license suspension, with the possibility of an ignition interlock device after 60 days.
- DUI School: Mandatory completion.
- Probation: Following jail time, probation may be applied.
Fourth or Subsequent DUI in Alabama
- Classification: Considered a Class C felony.
- Jail Time: Mandatory minimum of one year and one day, up to 10 years in prison.
- Fines: Ranging from $4,100 to $10,100.
- License Revocation: Mandatory five-year driver’s license revocation.
- DUI School: Mandatory completion.
- Refusal to Submit to Breathalyzer: This can lead to an automatic 90-day administrative license suspension for the first refusal and a one-year suspension for subsequent refusals within five years.
- Aggravating Factors: The presence of a minor in the vehicle, high BAC levels, or causing an accident can lead to enhanced penalties.
- Interlock Requirement: Repeat offenders may be required to use an ignition interlock device.
Top Alabama DUI Lawyers
More Alabama DUI Resources
If you need a DUI lawyer in a specific city in Alabama, we also have pages for DUI defense lawyers in cities across the state of Alabama. Read our helpful and informative articles below to find a DUI lawyer near you. Also, you can call 1-888-839-4384 anytime to schedule a free consultation.
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