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Alabama Governor Awards $230,000 in Grants To Target DUI Drivers

Posted by Steven Eversole | Sep 04, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Cullman Times reports that Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded nearly $230,000 in grants to fight DUI and other driver-related crimes.

This is just another example of the government stepping in and trying to punish drivers for a crime that is both unsophisticated and, in a vast majority of the cases, harmful to no one. But, as is the case, politicians like to show that they are “tough on crime” by enforcing steeper penalties against DUI in Auburn and elsewhere in Alabama.

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That's all the more reason to hire an aggressive and experienced Birmingham DUI Attorney to fight the charges of DUI. As there is more and more attention given to DUI in the news media and by the government, including new law changes that have just gone into effect for DUI convictions, getting an aggressive defense is the only true option.

The three grants totaling $228,968 are aimed at ensuring motorists who are convicted will be punished more than they already are. Two state agencies and a non-profit group will benefit from the Governor's generosity.

A grant of $165,942 was awarded to the Office of Prosecution Services to be used in training district attorneys and their staff to make sure they are up-to-date on the current law. Another $34,551 goes to the Alabama Department of Public Safety to deal with a backlog of drivers' license suspension cases. The money will go toward hiring special prosecutors to avoid delays in suspension appeals. Finally, the well-connected Mothers Against Drunk Driving gets $28,475 to put together awareness campaigns about DUI and to support victims of drunk driving crashes.

Never mind the fact the drunk driving accident nationwide are at record lows.

This cash splurge by the Governor comes as a new law regarding DUI just went into effect Sept. 1. As NBC News reports, the new law states that a first-time offender can face double the fine and a year in jail, along with possibly having to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

As the Alabama DUI Lawyer Blog reported in June, Alabama became the 50th state in the country to enact an ignition interlock device law for DUI convictions. Even for first-time offenders, they can be saddled with the cost and inconvenience of these expensive devices.

An ignition interlock device is like a breathalyzer, but for a vehicle. It is installed — with an installation charge, plus monthly charges, and requires the driver to blow into it in order to start the vehicle. Sometimes, it can turn the vehicle off and require another blow to make sure the driver hasn't had anything to drink in between stops.

This is yet another attempt for Alabama lawmakers to show voters they are “tough on crime” as people head to the polls for the November election. Yet these penalties will only make things more difficult for people already struggling with the tough economy. But to try to avoid these penalties, hire an experienced Opelika DUI Defense Attorney, who can fight all aspects of the case, including the police officers' observations, eye witnesses, breath tests, field sobriety tests and even the initial reason for the traffic stop in defense of the accused.


More Blog Entries:

Alabama Authorities Held 2,500 DUI Roadblocks in 2010: August 11, 2011
Ignition Interlock Devices Make Big Money at the Expense of DUI Convicts: June 27, 2011
Additional Resources:

Stiffer penalties coming for DUIs in Alabama, by Paris Jackson, NBC News

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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