Alabama DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

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A traffic violation is a serious offense in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) monitors drivers and penalize anyone who commits a traffic offense. Some traffic offenses will result with points being added to a driver’s driving record. The more severe offense will result in more points. Receiving plenty of points in a short time can result in a license suspension. So, the Alabama DUI laws will penalize anyone caught driving under the influence (DUI) or while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

The Alabama DPS uses a chemical test to determine if a driver was intoxicated while driving. The test is known as the BAC test. It measures the blood alcohol concentration in a person if the driver is assumed driving reckless. The percentage is calculated differently for drivers over 21 years than it is for under 21 years. Also, for commercial drivers as well.

So, here is a breakdown as stipulated by the Alabama DUI Laws:

  • 0.08% or more for drivers over 21 years old
  • 0.02% or more for drivers under 21 years old
  • 0.04% or more for commercial drivers

If you are in of the categories and caught driving under the influence, your Alabama driver’s license will be suspended immediately.

Alabama DUI Laws & Penalties

The penalties for DUI or DWI in Alabama is severe and many. If you are caught, you must pay fines, have your license suspended for some time or even have it revoked. The penalties will vary as a result of the test and if any property damages or loss of life was involved. Regardless, you will of the result, you will get penalized by because of the Alabama DUI Laws. So, you will face administrative penalties and criminal penalties for your actions.

Administrative Penalties

The administrative penalties will vary on the offense. As well as if the offense is committed more than once. So, if you are a repeated offender, do not be surprised when your suspension goes for a longer time and your fines increase.

The Alabama DPS will suspend anyone Alabama driver’s license if:

  • 1st offense: 90 days
  • 2nd offense: 1 year
  • 3rd offense: 3 years
  • 4th offense and more: 5 years

Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties relate to a loss of life and property damages. The Alabama DPS will suspend your license, and you may receive:

  • 1st offense:
    • Up to 1-year imprisonment
    • Fine of $600 to $2,100
  • 2nd offense:
    • Five days to 1-year imprisonment or a minimum of 30 days community service
    • Fine of $1,100 to $5,100
  • 3rd offense:
    • 60 days to 1-year imprisonment
    • Fine of $2,100 to $10,000
  • 4th offense:
    • Imprisonment from 1 year to 10 years
    • Fine of $4,100 to $10,100

Refusing to take the BAC Test

If you refuse to take the BAC test, your license will automatically be suspended. Refusing to take the test will carry:

  • 90 days for the 1st offense
  • One year for the 2nd offense
  • Installation of the Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Ignition Interlock Device

If you are required to install an IID, you must cover the expense and rental fee. The device will be installed to your vehicle’s ignition system, and you must blow into the breathalyzer before you can start the ignition. Only if you are below the BAC percentage will your vehicle start.

So, to have the IID installed in your vehicle, you must:

  • Received a first-time offense with BAC of 0.15% or more
  • Caused an accident because of DUI
  • Refuse to take a BAC test
  • Committed a DUI with a passenger younger than 14 years old in your car
  • Committed multiple DUIs

Reinstating your Alabama Driving Privileges

Once you have completed your suspension and pay all the necessary fines, you can apply for reinstatement. The court may decide if you are eligible for reinstatement or recommend a restricted or provisional license. Whichever the result may be, you must abide by the rules or your driver’s license can be revoked indefinitely.

When applying for reinstatement, you must:

  • Pay the reinstatement fee (minimum of $275)
  • Submit proof of financial responsibility form your insurance
  • Complete an alcohol/drug treatment, education, and evaluation program
  • Pass the written and road test if necessary