Alabama DUI Laws & Penalties

Alabama DUI laws and penalties, fines, license suspension, sr22 filing

A drunk driving or DUI case in Alabama can be tried under two different theories by the State. The State has the option to try the case under one theory or both of the theories based on the evidence presented in the case.

The first theory is that DUI charges may be brought against anyone who is stopped while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and displays signs of impaired. It should be noted that it is not necessary for the person to be at or above the legal limit of 0.08 BAC. This theory is base purely on the driver's inability to operate the motor vehicle at a normal level.

The second theory is that DUI charges may be brought against anyone who violates Alabama's per se law. The per se law in Alabama makes it a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle on public roads with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher. It is not necessary that the person who is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving actual show signs of impairment. The per se law states that any person with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher is impaired and shall not operate a motor vehicle while impaired.



It should also be noted that the per se law does not require the person who is stopped on suspicion of DUI to actually be driving at the time of the stop. All that is required is that the person be in or near the vehicle and be in possession of the keys or that the keys are somewhere in the vehicle at that time, hence showing physical control of the vehicle while being impaired. You are also not allowed to plead to a lesser charge like 'wet reckless' in an Alabama DUI case.

Alabama DUI Penalties



Alabama First Offense DUI Penalties

  • Jail time - First time offenders may or may not be subject to jail time. Any jail time imposed will be at the courts discretion. Jail time can be up to 1 year.

  • Fines - First time offender fine amount is $600 - $2,100 or the combination of a fine and jail time. This will be at the court's discretion.

  • License suspension - First time offenders are subject to a mandatory 90-day license suspension. A restricted license may be available to you.

  • DUI Program - First time offenders will be required to complete a level 1 or 2 DUI offender program prior to license reinstatement.

More in depth Alabama first offender information can be found here.

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Alabama Second Offense DUI Penalties

  • Jail time - Second time offenders face a mandatory 5 day jail sentence, or 30 days of community service. If this is a second conviction with a 5-year period the offender is subject to up to 1-year of hard labor in the county of offense or straight jail time.

  • Fines - Second time offender fine amount is $1,100 - $5,100. The fine amount will be at the court's discretion.

  • License revocation - Second time offenders are subject to a mandatory 1-year license revocation. A restricted license may be available to you.

  • DUI Program - Second time offenders will be required to complete a level 2 DUI offender program prior to license reinstatement.

More in depth second offender information can be found here.

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Alabama Third Offense DUI Penalties

  • Jail time - Third time offenders face a mandatory 60 day imprisonment or jail sentence and up to 1-year maximum. The mandatory 60 day minimum cannot be probated or suspended for any reason.

  • Fines - Third time offender fine amount is $2,100 - $10,100. The fine amount will be at the court's discretion.

  • License revocation - Third time offenders are subject to a driver's license revocation for a period of 3-years.

  • DUI Program - Third time offenders will be required to complete a level 3 DUI offender program.

More in depth Third offender information can be found here.

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Alabama Fourth or Subsequent Offense DUI Penalties

  • Jail time - Fourth or subsequent time offenders face a mandatory 366 day imprisonment or jail sentence. The term of imprisonment may include hard labor as set forth by the court.

  • Fines - Fourth or subsequent time offender fine amount is $4,100 - $10,100. The fine amount will be at the court's discretion.

  • License revocation - Fourth or subsequent time offenders are subject to a driver's license revocation for a period of 5-years.

  • DUI Program - Fourth or subsequent time offenders will be required to complete a level 3 chemical dependency program.

  • Probation Granting - If the court grants probation to the offender, house arrest along with an electronic ankle monitor will be required.

More in depth Fourth or subsequent offender information can be on the Alabama State website.

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Implied Consent Law

The Alabama implied consent law states that any citizen who has been issued a driver's license in the state of Alabama agrees to submitting to a chemical test, if so requested by an officer during a traffic stop. If a driver refused said chemical test, they will be subject to a mandatory 90-day revocation of their driving privileges without the chance of being granted a restricted license.

It should also be noted that a chemical test refusal will be used by the prosecution in your DUI case to try and prove that a chemical test refusal is an admission of guilt. A skilled DUI lawyer will be able to rebut this argument as to why a person would refuse such a chemical test.

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Alabama's Ignition Interlock Law

In Alabama any driver who is arrested for DUI with a BAC level of 0.15% or greater will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle prior to having their driver's license reinstated. First and second time offenders will be required to have the ignition interlock on their vehicle for a period of 2-years. Their driver's license will also state that they are required to have such a device in order to drive.

A third time offender will be required to have an ignition interlock for a period of 3-years and any fourth or subsequent offender will have to maintain an ignition interlock on their vehicle for a period of 5-years.

Installation costs are typically between $500 and $600 dollars along with a $75 monthly service fee.

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Alabama's SR22 Requirement

As part of having your driver's license reinstated by the department of Public Safety you will be required to maintain an SR-22 form filing with the Department. An SR-22 will be required before the Department will reinstate your driver's license. you will be required to maintain your SR22 filing and insurance coverage for a period of 3 years following the reinstatement of your license or the issuance of a restricted license.

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For more information on Alabama's SR-22 requirements please visit our dedicated Alabama SR22 page.

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Alabama's Under 21 DUI Laws

Anyone under the age of 21 who has been stop and found to have a BAC level of 0.02 - 0.079 will receive an automatic 30 day driver's license suspension. The minor must also attend a state approved level 1 DUI offender program prior to getting their license reinstated. A minor found guilty of being over the legal limit of 0.08% will be required to pay the same fines as an adult offender would have to pay for the same offense.

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