Driving after you’ve had a few drinks significantly increases your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident, and puts you and other people on the road at risk of physical injury and death. If you drive while intoxicated in Alabama, this choice can also have other consequences.
Alabama law takes a serious approach toward dealing with drunk drivers, and offers little leniency for first time offenders. You can be put in jail for up to a year for your first DUI offense, even if you have an otherwise clean criminal record. You’ll also have to pay a fine of at least $600. Depending on the circumstances, the Alabama judge might impose a greater fine of up to $1,200. Even if the judge decides to go easy on you and forgo imprisonment, you can expect to lose your driving privileges for 90 days. Having to rely on friends, family members and taxi services is a huge price to pay for driving after you’ve been drinking.
Keep in mind that, unlike other traffic offenses, a DUI conviction in Alabama will stay on your driving record for five years. This means that if you are arrested a second time for driving under the influence during the five-year period, the consequences become even more serious.
A second DUI conviction in Alabama carries a minimum imprisonment of five days, and a maximum of one year. Your license will be revoked for a year, without even the possibility of obtaining limited driving privileges for work. You can also expect to have to perform 30 days of community service after a second or subsequent DUI conviction.
After your second DUI conviction, you’ll also have to take a substance abuse course, and may have to undergo an assessment for alcohol addiction.
In addition to the other penalties, Alabama law permits the judge to impose a fine of at least $1,100. Depending on the circumstances, the fine might be as high as $5,000.
Given the stiff penalties associated with driving under the influence in Alabama, hiring a taxi or calling a friend to take you home after you’ve had a few drinks is a small inconvenience. Not only will you avoid Alabama’s DUI penalties; you’ll also help save lives – even your own.