DUI in Auburn AL

What Happens in AL If I Get a 2nd or 3rd DUI?

People make mistakes, but the law doesn’t look kindly on those who drink and drive. If you are arrested as a repeat DUI offender in Alabama, you may be in even more serious trouble. Under the law, penalties become progressively worse for repeat offenses.

While there might have been certain options available to you with a first-time DUI arrest, many of these will be taken off the table with subsequent arrests. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t beat a DUI charge or achieve a deal that will get you less serious penalties.

What is the “Look Back” Period in Alabama?

In DUI cases, when your last DUI took place makes a difference in applying sentencing guidelines. Referred to as the “look back” period, the courts will determine how long ago your last DUI conviction was to see if a new conviction will count as a subsequent arrest or register as a first offense.

In Alabama, the courts will apply mandatory sentence enhancement by looking back five years. In other words, if your first DUI was within the last five years, the next one counts as a second DUI. However, the courts can look at your entire record and use discretion when sentencing after a subsequent arrest.

Getting a 2nd DUI in Alabama

If you are arrested for a second DUI in Alabama, this will be a different experience than your first DUI. According to Alabama law, the penalties for a second DUI offense can include:

  • Fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • $100 fine paid to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
  • Community service minimum of 30 days or up to 5 days in jail
  • Maximum of one year in jail
  • Revocation of your driver’s license for one year
  • Requirement of ignition interlock device for 24 months
  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment
  • Probation up to 2 years

If there are any aggravating circumstances, the penalties will be even harsher. These include having an elevated BAC (.15 or higher), getting a DUI with a child in the vehicle, or causing an accident with injury.

Penalties for a 3rd DUI Offense

If you get arrested a third time for DUI in Alabama, the state assumes that you haven’t learned your lesson, that you have a serious drinking problem, or both. Once you get to this point, you’re facing mandatory jail time as well as other elevated consequences.

According to Alabama law, the penalties for a third DUI offense include:

  • Fines between $2,000 and $10,000
  • $100 fine paid to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
  • Mandatory minimum jail sentence of 60 days. (This cannot be suspended or substituted for probation).
  • Revocation of your driver’s license for three years
  • Three years of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • Up to two-year DUI probation
  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment

If you have been arrested for a third DUI in Alabama, these are serious charges and not something that should be taken lightly.

Secondary Consequences for a DUI Conviction

While there are legal consequences for a DUI conviction, having this on your record can also have other life-altering effects. Some of the secondary consequences that you could have to deal with include:

  • A criminal record that impacts your ability to get a job, professional license, or go to school
  • Potential loss of a scholarship
  • Adverse effect on custody arrangements or custody rights
  • Inability to rent a vehicle
  • Loss of your car insurance
  • Requirement to purchase high-risk (SR-22) insurance

Discuss Your Case with a Qualified Alabama DUI Attorney

At Alsobrook Law Group, our experienced DUI defense attorneys have helped clients throughout Lee and Macon counties who are facing second and third offense DUI charges. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re likely concerned about both your freedom and your future.

Alabama’s laws relative to subsequent DUIs are tough, but an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. If you’ve been charged with a 2nd or 3rd DUI, it would be a mistake to simply plead guilty to the charges and try to move on with your life. The stakes are too high.

As an experienced DUI attorney, Zach Alsobrook can provide you with a vigorous defense. Our experienced legal defense team will investigate your case and aggressively defend your rights. Even if there is a high blood alcohol level, there may be defenses possible that can help you obtain a dismissal of charges or reduce your charges to a lesser offense.

Contact our office today at 334-737-3718 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.

Pulled over for DUI

What to Do if You’re Pulled Over for DUI in Alabama

Being stopped for drunk driving in Alabama can be a frightening experience, especially if this is the first time. There are harsh legal consequences for a DUI conviction, such as heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. The outcome of your case will depend heavily on what you do during the initial stop and the steps you take shortly thereafter.

There are several “dos” and “don’ts” to follow during a DUI stop and subsequent arrest:

Do be Respectful

When you are pulled over for DUI, it is understandable to be rattled and shaken. However, do your best to stay calm and maintain your composure. No matter how the officer is treating you, it is always in your best interests be polite, courteous, and respectful. Never be rude to an officer, and if they ask you to step out of the car, comply with their request without complaint. The way you conduct yourself at the initial stop could be helpful later on in negotiating a deal with the prosecutor.

Do Provide the Required Information

There are three pieces of information you are required to provide a police officer when you are stopped; your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Have these documents ready to hand over to the officer when he/she approaches your vehicle. Try to avoid having to fish around for this information when the officer is at your window. Provide the required information when the officer asks for it, then place both hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them.

Don’t Answer Additional Questions

After you have provided the officer with the required information, you are under no obligation to answer any further questions. It is important to understand that if an officer pulls you over for DUI, they already suspect that you are guilty. The questions they ask you may seem like “small talk”, but they are designed to obtain probable cause for a DUI arrest. If an officer asks you how much you have had to drink, do not give them an answer like, “just a couple of beers.”  Do not admit to any type of guilt at all. Instead, politely decline to answer the question and let the officer know that you need to speak with your attorney first.

Don’t Submit to a Field Sobriety Test (FST)

Field sobriety tests are those that are conducted at the roadside during a DUI stop. Examples may include walking a straight line, standing on one leg, or following an object with your eyes. Preliminary alcohol screenings (PAS) are another type of FST that help establish your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time you are pulled over. In general, there is no good reason to submit to a field sobriety test unless you are absolutely certain that you are under the legal limit of .08 BAC. Without the results from an FST, there is less evidence that can be used against you to establish probable cause for the arrest and eventually obtain a conviction.

Do Submit to the Chemical Test after the Arrest

Under Alabama’s “implied consent” law, you are required to submit to a chemical (breath, blood or urine) test if probable cause is found to place you under arrest for DUI. Refusal to take this test can result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license along with other enhanced penalties. Your refusal may also be used as evidence by the prosecutor to argue to the jury that you are guilty of what you are charged with.

Do Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer

Many individuals who are pulled over for drunk driving wonder if it will make any difference to contact a DUI attorney. After all, if the police and prosecution already have proof that you were over the legal limit, how is a lawyer going to get you out of it? Although the state may have ample evidence against you, there are often weaknesses in their case that are not always readily apparent. A DUI lawyer can thoroughly assess the specific circumstances of your case and put together the most effective defense strategy to minimize the negative consequences as much as possible.

For a discreet and confidential consultation with our skilled and experienced DUI defense attorney, call our office today at (334) 345-2765, or send us a message through our online contact form.