Drunk Driving Laws in Alabama: Everything You Need to Know
Drunk driving is the cause of 10,000 deaths each year. That’s why, in Alabama, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If you’re caught driving drunk, you could face serious penalties, including jail time and fines.
In this article, we’ll discuss the drunk driving laws in Alabama in more detail. So, if you’re interested in learning more about Alabama’s DWI and DUI laws, keep reading!
What Are The Drunk Driving Laws in Alabama?
Alabama’s drunk driving laws are some of the strictest in the country. If you’re caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, you’ll be charged with a DUI. Commercial drivers are charged with a DUI if their BAC is .04% or higher.
Also, if you’re caught driving under the influence of drugs, you could get a DUI penalty.
Drivers under 21 years old are subject to Alabama’s zero-tolerance law. This means that if you’re caught driving with a BAC of .02% or higher, you’ll get a DUI.
Penalties for Drinking and Driving in Alabama
The penalties for a DUI in Alabama are severe. A first offense could result in up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine. A second offense may result in up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
If you’re caught driving under the influence with a child under the age of 14 in the car, you’ll get charged with a felony and can face up to 10 years in jail.
Not to mention, if you’re involved in an accident that results in injuries while driving under the influence, you’ll face a felony and face up to 20 years in jail. Furthermore, if you get into an accident that results in the death of another person, you could be charged with a felony and face up to 99 years— or life in jail.
Alabama also has an “implied consent” law. That means that if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you automatically consent to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine. If you refuse to take the test, you’ll automatically have your driver’s license suspended for 90 days.
Drinking and Driving laws: Important Things to Note
In Alabama, you can also get penalized with a DUI when you are not driving. If you are in physical control of a vehicle and are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can get a DUI.
Another important thing to know about Alabama’s DUI laws is that a conviction stays on your record for life. This means that even if you only get convicted of a DUI once, you’ll always have it on your record.
If you are charged with a DUI in Alabama, it is important to contact an Alabama DUI lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case and help you determine the best course of action.
What Are the DWI Laws in Alabama?
DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” In Alabama, a DWI is a lesser charge than DUI. To get charged with DWI in Alabama, a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must be between .08% and .099%.
A first offense DWI is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $500 to $1,000. A second offense DWI is a felony and is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000.
As with a DUI, Alabama’s “implied consent” law for chemical testing applies to a DWI. If you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI, you automatically consent to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine. If you refuse to take the test, you will automatically have your driver’s license suspended for 90 days.
Alabama also has a “per se” law for DWI. This means that if you are caught driving with a BAC of .08% or higher, you will be charged with DWI, regardless of whether your ability to drive was actually impaired.
Again, if you get into a jam with the law, it’s a good idea to find a DUI lawyer who can represent you!
What Is Alabama’s Civil Damages Act?
The Alabama Civil Damages Act is separate from the criminal charges that a drunk driver may face. This act also protects the families of minors who were given alcohol. If a minor is served alcohol, and then gets involved in an accident, the family of the minor can sue the person who provided the alcohol.
The Dram Shop Act is a law that allows the families of people killed by drunk drivers to sue the drunk driver for damages. In order to sue under the Alabama Civil Damages Act, the family must prove that the drunk driver was “negligent or wanton” in causing the death of their loved one. The Alabama Civil Damages Act also allows the families of people injured by drunk drivers to sue for damages.
Understanding Alabama Drunk Driving Laws
No matter what the drunk driving laws in Alabama are, it’s not wise to drink and drive. This is true even if you’re not pulled over or involved in a car accident. But if you are, just know that Alabama has very strict laws. If you’re charged with a DUI or the victim of a drunk driver, an attorney can help you with your case!
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