Birmingham DUI Update: What to Do When Facing a First Drunk Driving Offense in Alabama

Posted by Steven Eversole | May 12, 2010 | 0 Comments

Whether you live or work in Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Blount or any of Alabama's other counties, nobody expects to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Here in Jefferson County, my Birmingham DUI defense law firm understands the anxiety that motorists can experience during and after a DUI stop. From first-time drunk driving and prescription drug DUIs, to repeat felony drunk driving charges, this is serious business.

Being arrested for driving while intoxicated can happen day or night, sometimes as a result of a routine traffic stop and other times as part of a drunk driving roadblock, also known as a sobriety checkpoint. No matter the circumstances, if you have been charged with drunken driving you most certainly should contact a qualified legal professional, even if this is your first DUI Offense.

It must be remembered that under Alabama law a blood-alcohol content (BAC) measurement of 0.08 percent or more means you can be charged with being legally drunk. Also important to keep in mind is that even a conviction for a first offense can have a serious impact on a person's life.

Being convicted for DUI can, at minimum, result in the suspension of your driver's license for up to 90 days. At worst, it can spell jail. Some people might not understand the full impact of a license suspension, but this is not to be taken lightly. Such a punishment can affect how you get to and from work, if you can meet your obligations as a parent, even cause the permanent loss of a job, especially for those who work as commercial drivers.

I've handled so many DUI cases and spoken with enough people to know that representing yourself in a drunk driving case is never a wise decision. Not only can the process be frightening and confusing for first-time offenders, there is no way you can be fully prepared to face the court, not like you can with an experienced DUI defense attorney by your side.

Because the stakes are much too high to risk your lifestyle and livelihood, I always recommend that people retain a drunk driving lawyer. For instance, a lawyer will be able to keep emotion from clouding the facts. Some questions that a lawyer might ask you can include:

— Was the arresting officer justified in pulling you over to begin with? If not, then some if not all of the evidence gathered following the stop might be deemed inadmissible by the judge
— Did the police officer correctly administer any field sobriety tests?

— If a breathalyzer was used, was the device correctly calibrated and adequately maintained?

— Furthermore, was the officer properly trained to administer the breath test?

My strong suggestion to anyone accused of driving under the influence of alcohol is don't risk your future on the hope that you can “get through it” under your own power. A legal professional who takes a pro-active approach to DUI defense is the best route to take when so much hangs in the balance.

About the Author

Steven Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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