DUI is a major issue in the state of Alabama, with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs reporting that 33 percent of traffic deaths in 2009 involved impaired drivers. Numerous efforts have been made to combat drunk driving including a recent crackdown on intoxicated drivers as part of a program called "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." The laws in Alabama also impose strict penalties on drivers who are under the influence of alcohol when behind the wheel.
Because of the focus on combating DUI, if you are arrested for DUI, you can expect to face prosecution and harsh penalties including the loss of your driver's license and even jail time. In many cases, however, a Birmingham DUI attorney can help you to fight the charges against you, sometimes resulting in a lesser penalty or even in the charges being dismissed. At the Eversole Law Offices, we have helped clients in Jefferson, Madison and Shelby Counties and throughout the Alabama area who are facing DUI charges. Contact us today at 866-831-5292 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help.
Alabama DUI Laws – Drunk Driving Defense in Birmingham
Alabama DUI Laws are found in section 32-5A-191 of the Code of Alabama. These laws stipulate that you should neither drive nor be in physical control of any vehicle if:
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent.
- You are under the influence of alcohol.
- You are under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree that makes it impossible for you to drive safely.
- You are under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree that makes it impossible to drive safely.
- You are under the influence of any substance that impairs your mental or physical faculties to a degree that you cannot drive safely.
It is important to note that under these laws, a DUI is not just defined as having a blood alcohol content above .08 but also encompasses any situation where you are driving when impaired by alcohol or other substances. This means even if you are below the legal limit, you may still be arrested for a DUI if there is evidence of your intoxication and/or impairment.
Further, Alabama DUI Laws in section 32-5A-191(b) stipulate that anyone under age 21 is prohibited from driving with a BAC of .02 percent or higher. A teen who has a BAC of .02 or higher can have his or her driver's license suspended as the result of an underage DUI in Birmingham. These zero tolerance laws prohibit any type of drinking and driving by teens, but if the teen's BAC rises to .08, then he or she can also be subject to standard DUI charges as well as the consequences imposed under zero tolerance laws.
It is also important to be aware that a DUI in Alabama can subject you to both criminal penalties as well as an administrative driver's license suspension by the DMV. Under Alabama Code section 32-5A-304, an administrative suspension of your driver's license goes into effect 45 days from the time of your arrest for DUI and is triggered by either your refusal to take a blood alcohol test after a legal arrest or by testing over the legal limit. This suspension is for a minimum of 90 days for a first offense, but can last for as long as five years if you are a repeat offender.
With both criminal and administrative penalties imposed for a DUI, it is essential that you have a legal professional representing your interests, helping you to explore DUI defenses and assisting you in doing everything possible to keep your driver's license and avoid a criminal conviction and jail time.
At the Eversole Law Office, our Birmingham criminal defense lawyers can work with you to defend against DUI charges or to otherwise take steps to minimize the penalties you face. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to protect your legal rights. That's why it's important to contact Steven Eversole as soon as you know you'll face DUI charges in Alabama. You can call us toll-free, fill out our confidential online case evaluation form or visit our office in downtown Birmingham.