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Alabama DUI Penalties for a First Time Offender

The Stoves Law Firm

How does Alabama Define DUI?

Under Alabama law, driving under the influence (DUI) prohibits any individual from driving or being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle: (1) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or (2) while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any impairing substance—or combination thereof—to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle. The necessary BAC threshold is reduced to .04% or more if the licensee is driving a commercial vehicle, and drivers under the age of 21 cannot legally operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02% or more.

Driving and “Actual Physical Control”

While actually driving under the influence, DUI, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a well-known crime, in Alabama, a motorist can be charged with a DUI without actually driving or having the car in motion. The Alabama DUI statute includes anyone who’s in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. “Actual physical control” is defined as the exclusive physical power and present ability to operate, move, park, or direct whatever use or nonuse is to be made of the motor vehicle at the moment.

Alabama First DUI Penalties

For sentencing purposes, Alabama generally counts only prior DUI convictions that occurred within the past 10 years. A first DUI within 10 years is a misdemeanor (under most circumstances) and carries: (1) up to one year in jail, (2) $600 to $2,100 in fines, (3) a 90-day license suspension, and (4) a six-month ignition interlock device (IID) requirement. For offenses involving a BAC of .15% or more, the judge is required to sentence the defendant to the full year in jail (although the judge can “suspend” all or a part of it). In cases involving a BAC of .15% or more, child passengers, or a chemical test refusal, most of the penalties are doubled.

A driver who’s younger than 21 years old and operates a vehicle with a BAC of .02% to .08% can be convicted of an underage DUI violation. A first-offense underage DUI does not carry jail time or fines but will result in a 30-day driver’s license suspension. However, a second or subsequent DUI will carry the standard second-offense DUI penalties.

Have You Been Charged for a Crime in Alabama?

If you or someone you love has been charged with a serious crime in in Jefferson, Shelby, or Tuscaloosa County Alabama, let the veteran criminal defense attorneys at the Stoves Law Firm help you get the legal defense you deserve. When your future is on the line, having an experienced team of lawyers by your side can make all the difference. Our attorneys have successfully represented criminal defendants at every stage of their case and we take great pride in being able to help our clients overcome the charges they face so they can get their lives back on track. If you have questions about your case, call us today at (205) 823-7233 and schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation with an Alabama criminal defense attorney in our office.

Client Reviews

"Jason was very sweet and informative he made sure I kept up with my case and also help get me off a very serious charge and he is very affordable I would definitely recommend him to everyone."

Meosha B.

"The Stoves Law Firm worked hard to get the best results I was looking for. Providing excellent advice and direction throughout the entire process. I would highly recommend The Stoves Law Firm!"

Robbey S.

Unfortunately I received my 2nd DUI but Jay as able to get it handled for me. His fees were reasonable and he did a great job

Bret C.

Reasonable Doubt for a Reasonable Price

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