Alabama drunk driving laws are surprisingly complex. People accused of driving under the influence (DUI) are often caught off guard by the charges and accompanying repercussions. Here are 5 surprising facts about DUI charges in Alabama:
1. The Legal Limit Is Not .08 For Everyone
Drivers of semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles can be charged with DUI if they are pulled over with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04 or more. Drivers who are under 21 can be charged with DUI if they blow more than .02.
Additionally, drivers who blow over .15 can be charged with aggravated DUI, a charge that comes with increased penalties.
2. You Can Lose Your License Even If You Are Not Convicted
Simply being arrested for DUI will result in a 90-day driver’s license suspension on a first offense. The suspension is longer for repeat offenders. This is an administrative penalty from the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) that is above and beyond any penalties that are issued as a result of a DUI conviction.
This suspension can only be fought in a DPS administrative hearing, which must be requested within 10 days of the DUI arrest.
3. Incarceration Is A Possibility, Even On A First Offense
While Alabama does not have mandatory minimum jail time for DUI first offenders, the law does allow for up to a year in jail in these cases. It is rare for first offenders to be locked up, but it is a possibility that people charged with DUI must be aware of. The threat of incarceration becomes even more serious with repeat offenses.
4. You Will Have To Pay To Get Your License Back
Driving privileges are not reinstated automatically. Once the period of driver’s license suspension has elapsed, the driver will need to seek reinstatement through the DPS. Depending on the situation, there will be a number of requirements that must be fulfilled to get a driver’s license reinstated. One of them is paying a reinstatement fee, which is a minimum of $275.
5. Your Insurance Rates Will Go Up
When adding up the costs of a DUI charge, people often overlook some of the biggest expenses. One of them is the increase in insurance premiums that people convicted of drunk driving often face. It is not unusual for premiums to double after a DUI.
How An Attorney Can Help
An attorney can educate you about all of the issues you will have to deal with pertaining to the DUI charge. At The Bloomston Firm, we can also provide you guidance on your options for fighting the charge and avoiding or minimizing penalties.