Alabama DUI Laws: FAQ
What constitutes driving under the influence (DUI) in Alabama?
This answer depends on the type of vehicle you are driving. You may be convicted of DUI in Alabama if you are driving or are in physical control of a vehicle when you have a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or more, or if you are otherwise under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point that it impairs your ability to drive safely. However, the law is lower for commercial drivers who may not legally drive if their BAC exceeds 0.04. Finally, both school bus drivers and day care van drivers may not legally drive with a BAC exceeding 0.02.
What are the penalties for a first DUI conviction in Alabama?
If you are convicted of DUI in Alabama for the first time, you face a jail sentence in county or municipal jail for up to one year, a fine ranging from $600 - $2,100, and your license will be suspended for a certain period of time. Additionally, As of September 1, 2011 if you are convicted of DUI and your BAC is 0.15 or greater you will face double the minimum punishment had your BAC been under 0.15. This applies to both first time DUI offenders as well as repeat offenders.
What are the penalties for a second DUI conviction in Alabama?
If you are convicted of DUI in Alabama a second time, you face a fine ranging from $1,100 - $5,100, incarceration in a county or municipal jail, which may include hard labor, for up to one year, and your license will be suspended for a certain period of time. A second DUI conviction carries a mandatory sentence of five days in jail or 30 days of community service, and the second DUI conviction within five years carries harsher penalties, including suspension of the motor vehicle registrations for all vehicles registered to you.
What are the penalties for a third DUI conviction in Alabama?
For a third conviction of DUI in Alabama, you face a fine ranging from $2,100 - $10,100, incarceration in a county or municipal jail, which may include hard labor, for 60 days to one year, and your license will be suspended for a certain period of time. A third DUI conviction carries a mandatory sentence of 60 days in a county or municipal jail that cannot be suspended or served on probation.
What are the penalties for a DUI conviction if you already have three or more DUI convictions in Alabama?
For a fourth or greater DUI conviction in Alabama, you will be convicted of a Class C felony under Alabama law, you will face a fine ranging from $4,100 - $10,100, and you can be incarcerated, which may include hard labor, for one year to ten years. This conviction carries a mandatory sentence of one year and one day, which must include a minimum of 10 days in the county jail; the remaining portion of the sentence may be suspended, served on probation, or served on home detention only if you complete a state-certified chemical dependency program.
Do the standards and penalties for DUI differ for minors under Alabama law?
Yes. Under Alabama law, a minor, or any person under the age of 21, may be convicted of DUI if he or she is driving with a BAC of 0.02 or more. Furthermore, if it is your first DUI conviction as a minor and your BAC is between 0.02 and 0.08, you will face only a thirty day license suspension.
What can happen under Alabama law if I refuse to take a chemical or field sobriety test when I am suspected of DUI?
Alabama is one of many states with implied consent laws, which means that when you are arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you implicitly agree that you will undergo blood, urine, or breath tests to determine your level of intoxication. If you refuse to submit to the tests, and are arrested pursuant to the implied consent law, you may face harsher penalties than if you had simply been arrested for DUI, including a potentially longer term of license suspension.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.