Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) in Alabama is taken seriously by all levels of law enforcement and is reflected in the state’s detailed DUI laws and penalties. In particular, the penalties have been heightened in recent years in hopes of reversing the trend of motorists operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol by levying fines, license suspensions, periods of incarceration and other consequences that convicted drunken drivers will face. The current AL penalty structure is as follows:
- 1st Offense: A period of imprisonment up to a maximum of (1) year. Fines ranging from $500 to $2,000, plus $100 allocated to the Impaired Driving Trust Fund. A license suspension of (90) days and requirement to attend a DUI school program.
- 2nd Offense: A period of imprisonment of at least (48) hours up to a maximum of (1) year. A requirement to perform Community Service for (20) days. A license suspension of (1) year.
- 3rd Offense: A period of imprisonment of between (60) days up to 1 year. A fine ranging between $2,000 to $10,000 and a license suspension of (3) years.
- 4th Offense (in 5 years): In this instance, the penalty is elevated from a misdemeanor to a Class C Felony Offense. A period of imprisonment of between (1) and (10) years is required. The fines rise to between $4,000 and $10,000, while the license suspension is (5) years.
A Recent Addition:
In 2014, Alabama became the 21st state to pass rules implementing the use of vehicle ignition interlocks for all of those guilty of a DUI offense. The AL law is unique in that it may include those who are 1st time offenders.
How Serious of a Problem is DUI?
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been a long-standing proponent of enforcement for offenders and has some sobering statistics:
- In 2013, an estimated 9.9 million people operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Approximately 30% of those arrested for DUI are repeat offenders.
- In 2013, over 200 children under the age of 15 were killed in alcohol related vehicle accidents.
Repeat offenders are a major concern in Alabama. In 2015, a 56-year old Alabaster resident made headlines by being arrested for his 24th DUI offense. A Shelby County Circuit Judge enforced his bond at $100,000 in this now felony case and the last report indicated that the prosecutor was seeking a 10-year prison term.
Accidents stemming from drunken driving accidents can have very serious consequences. If you are injured as a result of a drunk driver, you should consider taking serious legal action to receive justice in the case. You may have severe injury, impairment, lost wages and much more. Fortunately, the experienced Birmingham DUI accident victim attorneys at Guster Law Firm, LLC is here to assist injured victims in the greater Birmingham area in negotiating settlements and obtaining verdicts that insure you are compensated. Call us today at (205) 581-9777 for a free consultation to discuss your case.