Drunk driving cases in which there is also a car crash are often treated as more serious than a typical first-offense DUI case. When one of the cars involved in a drunk driving case happens to be a patrol car, prosecutors may be even more aggressive in how they handle a DUI case.
According to a recent news report fromAL.com, Alabama state troopers in Jefferson County arrested a 25-year-old defendant for allegedly driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (DUI), during which time he crashed his car into one of their patrol cars.
Authorities say two troopers were directing traffic around a road construction site alongside U.S. 31 just before 2 a.m. when the alleged incident occurred. Troopers say both officers had parked their patrol cars at the construction site and activated their emergency lights to warn other vehicles to slow down. They say they witnessed defendant crash into one of the patrol cars and went over to see if driver needed medical assistance and to investigate the cause of this accident.
A Fultondale man has been charged with driving under the influence after crashing his vehicle into the state trooper's patrol car. Police apparently determined there was sufficient probable cause to arrest driver for DUI, and placed him under arrest. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment and then taken to jail, where he is being held on a $1,000 bond. Prosecutors have charged defendant with driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. It should be noted, defendant has not been convicted of any crime, as these are merely allegations. He is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
As our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys can explain, a first offense for drunk driving conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail (municipal or county) and a fine of $500 to $2,000, plus a $100 fined classified as an assessment for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. You can also lose your license to drive for 90 days pursuant to a state mandate and must attend DUI school before your license can be reinstated.
In addition to these consequences, DUI conviction can have other serious consequences on your life, as, without a driver's license, it may be difficult or impossible for you to work, take care of your family, or engage in other necessary activities. DUI conviction can directly affect your employment if you work in law enforcement or have a commercial driver's license (CDL), and it will make it extremely difficult for you to go to Canada, as DUI is considered a felony conviction there, even if you were convicted of a misdemeanor in Alabama.
The most important thing you can do if you have been charged with a DUI, whether or not there is an accident, is to understand an arrest does not mean you will be convicted, and there is often a lot an experienced DUI defense attorney can do to prevent a conviction.
Driver charged with DUI after crashing into trooper's patrol car, April 21, 2015, AL.com