Summary of Alabama driving under the influences statutes.
Prohibited Vehicular Activity:
“drive or be in actual physical control”
Covered Vehicles or Devices:
“of any vehicle” or “of any vessel, or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or other marine transportation device”
“upon highways and elsewhere throughout the state” or “on the waters of this state”
Under the Influence Offenses:
“there is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood”
“under the influence of alcohol”
“under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving”
“under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving”
“under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of such person to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving”
If under 21, school bus driver, or day care driver, if “there is .02 percentage or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood.”
If commercial motor vehicle, “if there is .04 percentage or greater by weight of alcohol in his or her blood.”
Other Criminal Offenses Involving Under the Influence Offenses:
A person commits the crime of criminally negligent homicide if he causes the death of another person by driving a motor vehicle under the influence
A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if while driving under the influence he causes serious bodily injury to the person of another with a motor vehicle
A person commits the crime of homicide if while operating a vehicle or vessel, driving under the influence is the proximate cause of the death of another person.
Degree of Impairment Required: Under the influence of alcohol/any substance to the extent that it affects his ability to operate his vehicle in a safe manner.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence Offenses:
For first conviction:
Jail sentence of not more than one year; Fine of $600-$2100; 90 day license suspension (unless involves controlled substance, 6 months license suspension); Court referral evaluation
For second conviction (within a five year period):
Jail sentence of not more than one year, mandatory minimum of 5 days to serve or community service for not less than 30 days; Fine of $1,100-$5,100; 1 year license suspension; Court referral evaluation
For third conviction (withing a 5 year period):
Jail sentence of not more than one year, mandatory minimum of 60 days to serve; Fine of $2,100-$10,100; 3 year license suspension; Court referral evaluation
For felony conviction (within a 5 year period):
Class C felony; Imprisonment of not less than one year and one day nor more than 10 years with a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 10 days; Fine of $4,100-$10,100; 5 year license suspension; Court referral evaluation
Penalties for Other Criminal Offenses Involving Under the Influence Offenses:
Criminally negligent homicide: Class C Felony
Assault in the first degree: Class B Felony
Homicide by vehicle or vessel: Imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years; Fine of $500-$2,000
Statutory Drunk Driving Presumptions:
If 0.05 percent or less BAC, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol
If excess of 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent BAC, no presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol.
If 0.08 percent or more BAC, it shall be presumed that the person was under the influence of alcohol.
Implied Consent Laws:
Tests permitted: Blood, breath or urine – one or more samples as directed by law enforcement
Type of advisement required:
Of implied consent law requirements; of penalties for refusing testing.
Penalties for refusal:
90 day license suspension for first refusal; if determined to be second or subsequent refusal in five year period, 1 year license suspension; if operating a commercial vehicle and refuses, 1 year suspension
Admissibility of refusal:
Implied Consent Laws – Accidents Involving Death or Serious Injury Tests permitted: Blood for determining alcoholic content of his or her blood or the presence of amphetamines, opiates, or cannabis
Penalties for refusal: 2 year suspension
Chemical Test Laws:
“Chemical analyses of the person’s blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance to be considered valid under the provisions of the section shall have been performed according to the methods approved by the Department of Forensic Sciences and by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Department of Forensic Sciences for this purpose.”
When a person submits to a blood test, only a physician or registered nurse (or other qualified person) may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the alcohol content.
Independent Test Statute:
“The person testing may at his expense have a physician, or a qualified technician, registered nurse or other qualified person of his own choosing administer a chemical test or tests in addition to any administered at the discretion of a law enforcement officer. The failure of inability to obtain an additional test by a person shall not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the test or tests taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer.”
Plea Bargaining Statute:
Suspension of Driver’s License for Alcohol Related Offenses Statutes:
Administrative Per Se Law: If BAC is 0.08 percent or greater, license suspension
Refusal: If refuses to submit to testing, license suspension
Periods of Suspensions: 90 days: no prior alcohol or drug-related contacts during immediate preceding 5 years
1 year: one prior alcohol or drug-related contacts during immediate preceding 5 years
3 years: two or three prior alcohol or drug-related contacts during immediate preceding 5 years
5 Years: four or more prior alcohol or drug-related contacts during immediate preceding 5 years
Administrative Review: Any person who has received a notice of suspension or notice of intended suspension may request for the information to be reviewed by the Director of Public Safety or one of his agents to determine if the evidence of the suspension is sufficient.
Administrative Hearings: Any person who has received a notice of intended suspension may request a hearing on the matter within 10 days of receipt of that notice. The hearing will be conducted by the Director of the Department of Public Safety or one of his agents. Within 30 days of the issuance of the hearing results, a person aggrieved by the determination of the hearing shall have the right to file a petition in the circuit court for judicial review.
Beginning September 1, 2012 Alabama began requiring ignition interlock’s in certain circumstances.
AL Department of Public Safety - http://dps.alabama.gov/Home/Default.aspx
AL State Bar - http://alabar.org
AL Circuit Court Clerk’s - http://www.acadv.org/courts.html
AL Judicial System (e-filing) - http://judicial.alabama.gov/