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.
More in depth Alabama first offender information can be found here.
More in depth second offender information can be found here.
More in depth Third offender information can be found here.
More in depth Fourth or subsequent offender information can be on the Alabama State website.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on Alabama's SR-22 requirements please visit our dedicated Alabama SR22 page.
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.