Alabama DUI Lawyers
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If it’s your first offense you may face a license suspension of 90 days, a fine up to $2100, a $100 penalty to the Impaired Drivers’ Trust Fund and up to a year in prison. You can see that even if it’s your first time, you’re up against some hefty penalties!
But the charges only become more serious if you have a history of DUI. If you are convicted of multiple DUIs, Alabama requires mandatory alcohol assessment, which costs you, the driver $50. Other rulings may include: the installation of an Ignition interlock system, automobile impoundment, ankle bracelet monitoring and probation.
And there are other “hidden penalties” for a DUI conviction that you may not even know about. You could lose your job if you car is taken away or you are sent to do community service during work hours. You could face insurance coverage complications such as higher rates or complete cancellation of coverage. Last but not least, your interstate or international travel could come to a halt with a DUI conviction. These little charges and nuisances add up quickly. They take away your time, your money and your freedom.
As in many states, Alabama DUI laws are separated into a criminal court case and an administrative hearing with the Department of Public Safety. The administrative hearing will be in reference to your driver’s license and you only have 10 days after your arrest to contact the DPS to save your driver’s license. This is when having an attorney to represent you first comes in to play!
BAC stands for blood alcohol content and if you’re driving in the state of Alabama, it is illegal to go over the limit of .08. According to Alabama’s “per se” laws, if you have a limit of .08 or higher, you can be arrested for a DUI even if you are not said to be impaired. Alabama is also an “actual physical control” state, which means that you don’t have to be driving the car to be charged with a DUI! If you are simply in the car asleep or are sitting in your car, you can be charged with a DUI because you are still able to control the car if you wanted.
Alabama Chemical Tests
When you are stopped by police, you have your choice of one of three chemical tests, which all test for your BAC. They are: breath, blood and urine. If you choose the breath test, you will blow into a machine, which will provide a digital reading of your BAC. Analysis of your urine or blood would be done at a hospital, not a police station. The blood test is the most accurate because it actually measures the amount of alcohol in your blood.
Alabama Field Sobriety Tests
There are three tests which Alabama police officers may utilize to determine one’s impairment. They are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the one leg stand and finally the walk and turn. With the HGN, the officer will ask you to follow an object with your eyes (usually a light). They are checking for any involuntary jerking of your eyes, which is a direct result of alcohol impairment. The one leg stand requires that you raise one leg about six inches off the ground with arms at your sides, close your eyes and stand this way until the officer tells you stop. Here they are checking for your balance. The walk and turn test will have you walk an “imaginary” line by taking heel to toe steps, then turning and walking back towards the officer.
Alabama Zero Tolerance
This law prohibits anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 from operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .02 or higher.
This device will be installed in your car if deemed by the court. You must breathe into the machine in order to start your vehicle and at intervals while you are driving. Your vehicle will not start if you have a level of .02 or higher.
For these reasons and many more, it is imperative that you hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI. If you reside in Alabama and have been charged with a DUI, act fast and find an experienced lawyer who is ready to defend you!