Many people in Alabama have similar questions concerning Alabama DUI law. As a result, in my next several posts, I will compile a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to Alabama DUI laws:
- What should I say when a police officer asks if I have been drinking? There is not really a right or wrong answer to this question(as long as you don't say, six beers and four tequila shots officer). Seriously though, you are not required to answer potentially incriminating questions. The best answer is "I would like to speak with my attorney before answering that questions." However, if you say you had a couple beers or a glass of wine that is not enough to cause intoxication, is not incriminating and may help explain the smell of alcohol on your breath.
- Do I have the right to an attorney after being stopped by a police officer in Alabama? The short answer is no, not until you have been arrested. You can, and still should ask for one.
- Should I take a Field Sobriety Test in Alabama? No! There is no reason to give a jury more evidence to convict. The officer has normally already decided to arrest you anyway. A field sobriety test just gives them more ammunition at trial, and the tests are completely subjective. However, if you do take a field sobriety test and fail, there are several means to attack that evidence at trial.
- How much does an Alabama DUI lawyer and attorney cost? Costs vary from DUI lawyer to DUI lawyer. A lawyer who focuses his practice on DUI defense will cost more than a general practitioner in a small town. Fees can range anywhere from $500 to $15,000 depending on the DUI lawyer and circumstances of the case. I will say that a quality DUI defense can be expensive. A good analogy I heard one time goes like this, when you need a tumor removed, do you go the cheapest doctor you can find? However, my office tries to make sure even those with limited funds can afford a quality DUI defense. We have fixed fees, accept major credit cards, and even work out flexible payment plans in some circumstances.
- Can I be convicted of a DUI without consuming alcohol? Yes, in Alabama you can be convicted of a DUI without consuming alcohol. You can be convicted of an Alabama DUI by being under the influence of a controlled substance(i.e. marijuana or prescription medications), even legal prescription medications prescribed by a doctor(percocet), or any other substance that renders you incapable of driving safely, i.e. glues, paints, or even over-the-counter medications.