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If you are caught driving under the influence in Alabama, you will not only face a difficult sentence but you will also be required to pay hefty fines associated with the crime. The data here outlines the penalties for a dui in Alabama.
Driving under the influence can cost thousands of dollars and cause you to lose your license for three months or longer. Understanding DUI laws in Alabama may make people more cautious about driving under the influence.
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A DUI Offense in Alabama
A driving under the influence conviction can happen for anyone who is driving in Alabama with a BAC that is .08 or higher. If a driver has a BAC of .15, Alabama state law considers the driver to have a high BAC which may include extra punishment. Drivers who are under 21 also have different punishments and limits for driving under the influence.
The different laws that govern the DUI punishments for those who have a high BAC or are underage will vary because they are covered under different state codes.
These punishments are unrelated to traditional DUI punishments. While unrelated, they may be imposed in addition to the traditional requirements Alabama has for DUI offenses.
The look back period for a DUI in Alabama is five years. A look back period is defined as the amount of time the state “looks back” at the DUI offenses a person has received. If a person has been convicted of a DUI in the past five years in Alabama, it will count toward sequential DUI punishments.
For example, if Person A is driving under the influence in 2001 and receives a conviction, it will count as the first. Once Person A receives their license back, they receive another DUI conviction in 2005, they will be punished with a second DUI conviction. If the person receives the conviction in 2006, they will only receive the punishment of a first DUI.
Alabama DUI Punishments
The punishments in Alabama vary depending on how many times a person has been convicted of a DUI. The more DUI convictions a person has, the worse the punishment is for the conviction. The first through third punishments are counted as misdemeanors, but the fourth and subsequent are counted as felonies.
For every DUI in Alabama, drivers are required to pay a certain amount of money, usually $100, toward the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund.
The fund was established to help victims who have head and spinal cord injuries as a result of an injury from a DUI-related accident. It helps them pay for housing, care and other living expenses they are required to pay as a result of the accident they were in.
– First Offense
A person who is convicted of their first DUI in Alabama will be required to have an Administrative License Suspension for 90 days. The person could also be required to spend up to one year in municipal or county jail. There is no minimum jail requirement for a person who has been convicted of their first DUI in Alabama.
The first-time DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense. Drivers who are convicted of the crime must pay between $500 and $2,000 for their fine plus $100 for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. They must attend mandatory DUI school.
– Second Offense
A second DUI is considered a misdemeanor in Alabama. Drivers who are convicted will receive an ALS for one year and will be required to serve a minimum of 48 hours in municipal or county prison with no more than one year given for prison time.
They may also be required to do 20 days of community service instead of jail time in the county they received the misdemeanor.
The fine for a second DUI is $1,000 up to $5,000 and they must pay $100 for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. Drivers are not required to take a mandatory DUI school. Drivers may choose to attend DUI school as part of their commitment to not receiving another DUI conviction.
Alabama state law sees a third DUI conviction as a misdemeanor. The state will revoke a person’s license for three years for a third conviction.
A person will spend at least 60 days but not more than one year in a municipal or county jail.
Drivers who receive a third DUI conviction will be required to pay $2,000 for their fines. They will not be required to pay more than $10,000. In addition, they will be required to pay $100 toward the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund.
– Fourth and Beyond
For any DUI conviction that a person receives after the third, Alabama considers them to be Class C felonies. For the fourth, Alabama revokes their license for five years and they are sentenced to 1 to 10 years in prison. The fine is between $4,000 and $10,000.
A fifth offense receives the same punishment as a fourth offense. For any subsequent offenses after the fifth, a judge can increase the punishment. Offenders will receive the maximum punishment.
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License Revocation in Alabama
For all DUI offenses in Alabama, the state requires mandatory ALS or revocation. Drivers who have simply had their license suspended will need to go through the process to have their license validated again in the state.
Those who have had their license suspended will be required to go through the reinstatement program.
Drivers who have had their license revoked in Alabama will need to prove they have completed the mandatory revocation period and they have completed all the requirements of their DUI punishment. Then, they can reapply for a license in Alabama.
Reapplying for a license after a revocation can be difficult because drivers will need to show proof of completion of their punishment. They will also be required to have insurance which can be difficult to obtain after a DUI conviction.
Drivers who wish to have a license after theirs has been revoked for a DUI will need to start planning as early as possible to ensure they are going to be able to get the license.
High Cost of DUI in Alabama
While the fines for a DUI in Alabama are hefty, the cost to get back on the road could be even greater. While Alabama does not require drivers to have an SR-22 addendum to their policy, they may struggle to find insurance.
Alabama drivers will get the best results by shopping around for insurance policies and always letting the company know they have a DUI conviction.
The state does not require drivers who have a driving under the influence conviction to have an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle.
While it is another expense, drivers can have their own Interlock device independently installed because it can be helpful for drivers who want to help themselves avoid driving under the influence again.
Cars that have these devices will not start unless the driver blows into the attached Breathalyzer-type device without any recognizable alcohol on their breath.
Unlike other states, Alabama does not have probation or parole requirements for a DUI, but the state may choose to allow a person to have a diversion sentence for each of the misdemeanor offenses.
In addition, they do not require a driver to attend addiction treatment programs, but these programs can be helpful for drivers who truly want to make a change and believe they have a problem. The only required classes or treatment is the DUI class for the first offense.
Can a DUI in Alabama have long-term effects?
In addition to the jail time and required fines, a DUI can have serious detrimental long-term effects on the driver.
Drivers will not be able to drive for a period of time and they may be required to wait many years before they can get themselves back on the road. In addition, drivers will almost always pay a very high premium for auto insurance after they have received a DUI conviction.
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