Alabama state laws dictate that no one should drive or otherwise be in physical control of a vehicle while having a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more. If the driver is younger than the age of 21, the maximum blood alcohol content allowed is .02 percent. Whether driving under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or a combination of both, if an individual is incapable of driving safely, he or she may be found guilty of driving under the influence. Even if a driver shows no objective signs of being intoxicated, they may still be prosecuted for DUI if they have a BAC of .08 percent or greater.
Alabama DUI penalties, unlike those of some states, do not allow for enhanced penalties for those who are found to have a BAC of greater than .15 percent. Alabama also does not allow for the confiscation of the vehicle of an individual accused of DUI.
A person under the age of 21 who is convicted of driving with a BAC at or greater than .02 percent but below .08 percent risks having his or her driver’s license suspended for 30 days. Minors who are found to have a BAC greater than .08 percent are charged in the same way as those who are 21 years old or older. The stiffer sentence provides for a 90-day suspension of the person’s driver’s license as well as a fine of $500 to $2,000, a one-year jail sentence, or both a fine and incarceration.
Drivers with a blood alcohol content greater than .02 percent while driving a school bus or driving on behalf of a day care risk having their driver’s license suspended for one year. Likewise, commercial drivers with a blood alcohol content greater than .04 percent risk having their commercial driver’s license suspended.
Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence for a second time within five years of a first conviction face a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000; imprisonment for 48 hours or more and a mandatory sentence of 20 or more days of community service. In addition, driving privileges are to be suspended for one year.
Those who are convicted of driving under the influence for a third time within five years of a first conviction will face a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000, imprisonment for between 60 days and one year and a suspension of driving privileges for three years.
Fourth or Subsequent Offenses
A person who is convicted of driving under the influence four or more times within five years is considered guilty of a Class C felony and will face a fine of between $4,000 and $10,000 and imprisonment for between one and 10 years. Some of the sentences may be suspended or revoked if the person completes a state-certified chemical dependency program. In addition, driving privileges will be suspended for five years.