Recently, a friend of mine got charged with DUI offense while driving home from our office party. No surprise, the experience was a nightmare. Even though it was a first time offense, he is facing serious penalties. So while I was with him during his sessions with his lawyer, helping him out in handling everything properly, I learnt quite a lot about Alabama DUI laws.
Different States, Different Standards
I knew that every state has different rules regarding impaired driving, but I thought it was just in terms of penalties and severity of the sentence. But, the states even follow different standards. Some follow OUI standard while others follow just DUI. What it means is that in some states operating a vehicle in any way, not just driving, under influence is an offense while in others, You can only be charged if you’re driving the vehicle while impaired.
Alabama follows DUI standards in its impaired driving laws. To be a DUI law offender in Alabama, your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) should be 0.08% or more. However, BAC level of more than 0.15% will bring you harsher penalties. If you’re a minor, i.e. less than 21 years of age, anything over 0.02% BAC will make you a DUI offender.
You Should Never Refuse To Take The Test
If you’re stopped by an officer at any time for a BAC test, never refuse. Refusing to take the test can lead to suspension of your license for even longer, and that too, without conviction. Driving license rights in USA are given by the administration and not the Constitution. So when we apply for license, we have automatically given our implied consent to tests. The administration can ask for a test whenever it deems necessary and can take away your driving rights if it feels you’re not responsible enough and are thus a danger on the road.
Even A First Offense Can Land You In Jail
It is quite expected to serve jail time for repeating the offense, but according to Alabama DUI laws, even a first offense can lead you to serve jail time in municipal or county jail. However, since there is no mandatory minimum jail sentence for the first time offenders, the convicted is likely to be given another chance unless the conditions and damage done become aggravating factors.
DUI Is An Expensive Affair
A DUI charge in Alabama can cost you thousands of dollars including your court hearing costs, license reinstatement fee, fines and on the top of that, your lawyer’s fee. If you’re ordered to get an ignition interlock, that will add even more to the cost. However, that’ll at least get you your driving rights, although restricted.
Representation Matters A Lot
You may not think so, but your legal representation can make a lot of difference to your case. An efficient and experienced attorney will not only ensure as positive results as possible, they’ll also make sure you don’t face any undue violation of your rights and that you are treated right during the whole process.
If you ever get involved in DUI charges, contact DUI expert lawyers immediately and keep them in loop right from the start. Some even offer free evaluation of your case.
Along with license suspension, possible jail time and heavy fines, DUI conviction may bring you mandatory community service and a fault in your legal file. More importantly, in case of any damage to any life, you face serious jail time for years and extravagant fines, along with personal guilt. Impaired driving costs thousands of lives every year and is a real threat to you as well as others on the road.