An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or controlled substances is a common occurrence that happens to many people. That detail, however, doesn't change two noteworthy facts. One is that, while common, a drunk driving conviction carries heavy consequences that will affect your everyday life. In fact, some penalties could occur before you are even convicted.
Offenses and consequences for Driving Under the Influence in Alabama include:
- DUI Driver's License Suspension
- Refusal to Take DUI Test
- First DUI
- Second DUI
- Third DUI
- BAC Greater than 0.15
- Drunk Driving Under 21
- Commercial Truck DUI
- Drugged Driving / Controlled Substances
The second fact you should know is that just because you are charged with drunk driving, it doesn't mean that you have to accept those consequences. You still have rights, and the prosecution still has to prove their case. You can fight those charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Huntsville Alabama Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
The drunk driving defense lawyers at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal will be on your side. We'll fight for your rights, regardless of your situation. We can represent you at all stages of your case and for the administrative matters that might stem from your drunk driving arrest, such as for driver's license suspension. If you did not refuse a test, we will fight the results. We will seek to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message for a free consultation to discuss your drunk driving charges.
At Law Offices Of Segal & Segal, we are experienced criminal defense lawyers who know the criminal courts. Sandra Segal has served as a prosecutor in the Huntsville City Attorney's Office, and Andrew Segal has experienced as a prosecutor for the Alabama Attorney General and the Madison County District Attorney. We know how prosecutors work, and can put that knowledge to work for you. We practice with integrity, honoring our profession — a reason we get respect from judges, jurors and even prosecutors. That could mean a lot when we're negotiating with prosecutors to reduce your charges.
We are proud to represent clients throughout the Huntsville-Decatur area, including Madison, Morgan, Marshall, Limestone and Jackson Counties.
Alabama Drunk Driving Information Center
- Driving Under the Influence Laws in Alabama
- Criminal Penalties for Drunk Driving
- DUI Test Refusal and License Suspension
- Huntsville Drunk Driving Resource Center
- Working with the Best DUI Attorney in Madison County
Under Huntsville law, it is illegal to drive if your blood contains more that 0.08 percent, by weight, of alcohol. This is called your blood-alcohol content, or BAC. Many will say that a BAC of 0.08 is about three drinks in, but, in reality, there are a complicated array of factors. Your weight, size, the strength of the alcohol you were drinking, how long you were drinking, how quickly you drank, the rate at which your body processes alcohol and other factors all play a part.
Less specifically, the law prohibits driving “under the influence of alcohol,” a more subjective standard that is up to prosecutors to prove. The law also prohibits driving under the influence of controlled substances or any substances to the extent a person is incapable of driving safely.
If you are younger than 21, the legal drinking age, or you are driving a school bus or a day care vehicle, the standards are tougher. Your BAC cannot be higher than 0.02. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, like an 18-wheeler, your BAC cannot be above 0.04.
Drunk driving penalties go up every time a person is convicted.
First DUI: For the first DUI, you may be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine ranging from a minimum of $600 and a maximum of $2,100. Your driver's license will also be suspended for 90 days.
Second DUI: Upon the second conviction within five years, you could be sentenced to up to a year in prison, but will receive a minimum sentence of five days in jail or 30 days of a community service. You will also be fined a minimum of $1,100, with a maximum of $5,100. Your license will also be revoked for a year.
Third DUI: For the third, you will have a minimum sentence of 60 days in jail, with a possibility of up to a year. The minimum fine is $2,100, with a maximum of $10,100. Your license will be revoked for three years.
Any Further DUI: For the fourth or subsequent convictions, the charge becomes a Class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Your license will be revoked for five years.
Additionally, if your BAC was at 0.15 or more, or there was a child under 14 in the car, the punishment will be at least double the minimum. You will also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car that will only allow you to turn it on if your BAC is lower than 0.02.
If you are pulled over and the police suspect you are intoxicated, there are a variety of tests they may ask you to participate in, such as standing on one leg, walking a line, or touching your nose and saying the ABCs backward, called field sobriety tests. They may also ask you to take a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer is a small device that measures alcohol content in your breath.
There are numerous problems with any of these options. Often the field sobriety tests are next to busy roads at night. The breathalyzers can be inaccurate and improperly used. However, if either present results that indicate you are intoxicated, they will be evidence against you in court. You can refuse to take these tests, but you need to be aware that refusal to take certain approved breath tests will result in suspension of your driving privilege, and, quite frequently, when someone refuses to take any of the fields sobriety tests the law enforcement officer will arrest that person and take them to jail.
While refusal to take all of these tests may minimize the evidence against you in court, you should realize that there is usually a video camera which can be used to provide evidence even in the absence of field sobriety tests or breath test results.
If you are then arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, police may ask again, or demand a blood or urine test. You can also refuse these tests. However, if you refuse a test after being arrested, the Department of Public Safety may begin an administrative suspension that takes effect 45 days after your arrest. A Huntsville criminal defense lawyer could help you restore your privileges or shorten the suspension time, but you must act quickly after your arrest.
Alcoholics Anonymous for North Alabama: This organization assists people with drinking problems with a 12-step program.
http://dui.drivinglaws.org/alabama.php : This contains the laws for Alabama against driving under the influence, and for license suspension.
If you've been arrested in or around Huntsville for driving under the influence, let the Huntsville drunk driving defense lawyers at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal help you. Even if you did submit to a test, we can fight the results. We'll seek to reduce the charges to reckless driving or dismissed entirely.
If you've been charged with drunk driving anywhere in the Huntsville area, including Decatur, Madison, Athens or Albertville, you can fight the charges, and we can help. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message for a free consultation.