Drunk driving charges include any charges brought against a person who is alleged to be driving a motorized vehicle while under the influence. The legal drinking age in Alabama is 21 years. In most instances, a person may drive with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) in excess of .08. A person can be charged with a DUI - driving under the influence - whether they are inebriated from alcohol or under the influence of a legal or illegal drug.
Alabama Drunk Driving Laws
Under Alabama law, the legal blood alcohol content level at which people are alleged to be driving under the influence is .08; at that level, the law considers a person's ability to drive to be impaired. A first dui conviction can land you in jail for a year, cost thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, and a fourth offense is a felony. Use of a vehicle while driving under the influence resulting in a death is a felony.
Refusals - Refusing To Surrender To A Blood Alcohol Test
Alabama law provides that a person who is given a driver's license automatically consents to being tested for drunk driving if they are stopped by police. If a person refuses to surrender to a test, their driver's license will be automatically suspended. As well, if they consent to the test and the test reveals a BAC above the limit, their driver's license will also be suspended.
Even so, if you refuse a blood alcohol test, then the state lacks evidence, which can be advantageous for your defense. For example, Attorney Eversole recently handled a DUI charge for a truck-driving client who had a commercial driving license (those allow for even lower BAC levels - .04 instead of .08). His client was an elderly man who could not blow hard enough to set off the machine. Consequently, police charged him with a DUI, and Attorney Eversole had the charges dismissed.
Like drug offenses, drunk driving offenses have graduated penalties that begin at minimum fines of $1,000.00 and go upwards as the number of DUI offenses increase. While jail is not mandatory, a person can be sentenced to a minimum of one year or more. A person who is convicted of a DUI will lose his or her driver's license for a period of 90 days. Additionally, a DUI can result in a loss of reputation, cost thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, cause your car insurance to skyrocket, you could lose your security clearance at work, or even lose your job.
Recent Changes To DUI Laws
Recently, Alabama law governing if DUI convictions can be counted as prior offenses has changed. Currently, any previous conviction must have been within the last 5 years to be counted as a prior conviction.
Judges are tough on alcohol related offenses, particularly drunk driving. Penalties are already harsh, but changes in society's views of drunk driving are causing penalties to become even harsher. No website can give you legal advice. If you have been charged with a DUI, consult with a DUI attorney immediately to save your license, your job, security clearances and more.
Defenses To DUI Charges
There are hundreds of possible DUI defenses. A criminal defense lawyer who focuses his practice on Alabama DUI Defense is the best defense to your Alabama DUI charge. A DUI lawyer must not only be proficient in the law, evidence, criminal procedure, jury selection, or trial presentation; a good Alabama DUI attorney must also have a deep understanding of the science involved.
The best defense is a good offense, which means that you need to involve your attorney as early in the case as possible and fight your case aggressively. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. We will attack all the evidence in the case against you. A common tactic involves invalidating breathalyzer results. In some cases, Attorney Steven Eversole and the lawyers and attorneys at Eversole Law have been able to prove the test (both blood tests at the hospital and breath tests in the field) invalid, even in subsequent third or fourth offenses. Getting the test invalidated is a common legal strategy, but it requires the knowledge of the testing procedures and machinery, as well as the law and legal procedures of the court. For those types of strategies, unless you are an expert in the field, you will need a good DUI defense attorney; even if you are an expert, it may help to know that attorneys don't represent themselves in DUI cases - they hire experienced Alabama DUI defense lawyers.
Free Initial Consultation
Do Not Plead Guilty! If you, your son or daughter or someone that you care about has been arrested for driving under the influence, please contact Eversole Law Offices for a free initial consultation. Please print and fill out our DUI Questionnaire before your appointment, which you can download by clicking here.