Alabama’s DUI laws are very strict, even for first time offenders, although there are states that are more or less strict than this one in the United States. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the state of Alabama is a serious offense, and the state is starting to crack down harder on those convicted for DUI in order to attempt to curb the numbers of repeat offenders, fatalities due to DUI-related incidents, injuries and property damage due to DUI-accidents, and the cost of prosecuting these offenders.
Here is a brief rundown of what the state minimum punishment for a DUI conviction is, but remember that every case is different and this should never be constituted as legal advice. Keep in mind that these penalties are in addition to court costs, legal fees, SR-22 insurance fees, and are calculated without the addition of any aggravating factors (such as having a minor in the car, property damage, injuries, and so on).
First-Time Offender With Clear Criminal History
Expect up to 12 months in jail maximum, or up to $1200 in fines. Sometimes both penalties are enforced, depending on the situation and individual. Expect to lose driving privileges for at least three months in addition to any other penalties. Even a first time conviction will give rise to mandatory alcohol education or rehab in Alabama.
Second-Time Offender (Within 5 Years)
You could spend up to 12 months in jail, with a state minimum of five days, and may be forced to spend more than five thousand dollars to pay mandatory fines. There is also a one-month minimum community service requirement for a second offense, in addition to a loss of driving privileges for at least a year and mandatory rehab.
Third-Time Offender (Within 5 Years of 1st)
The minimum amount of jail time for the third conviction is two months, but you could spend up to 12 months, depending on the case. The fine doubles for the third offense, so you may have to pay ten thousand dollars in fines in order to close the case. You also lose your right to drive for a minimum of three years and become obligated to take alcohol education or rehab classes.
Fourth-Time Offender (Within 5 Years of 1st)
A fourth conviction for DUI in Alabama is classified as a felony offense, while the first three are misdemeanors on your permanent record. The fourth offense leads to a minimum of 12 months and one day in jail, with a maximum of ten years depending on the circumstances. The minimum fine is more than four thousand dollars, up to more than ten thousand in more extreme cases. Mandatory alcohol education and rehab classes are usually ordered in these cases as well.
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