Getting pulled over for a DUI in Auburn or Opelika is a serious matter. But, just because you were arrested on a drunk driving charge, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any rights or will automatically be convicted. Alabama has taken measures to increase the penalties for impaired driving in the state, but we still have far from a perfect system. Here is what you need to know if you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Alabama.
The DUI Traffic Stop
Alabama has what is known as an “Implied Consent Law.” Under this law, any motorist that is pulled over under suspicion of impaired driving must agree to a chemical test when asked. In essence, you have given this “consent” in exchange for being allowed to drive in the state of Alabama.
Should you refuse to give a chemical test when asked, your license will be automatically revoked for 90 days. The 90-day revocation is in addition to any other penalties which might result from a DUI conviction. Also, while some drivers can request an emergency hearing within ten days to get a restricted license, this won’t be possible for a license revocation due to the refusal of an evidentiary test.
Another consequence of refusing to submit to a chemical test is that the state can use this refusal as evidence, calling it an implied admission of guilt. Hopefully, you’ve engaged an experienced and aggressive Alabama DUI attorney that will challenge this as there could be valid arguments for refusing a test.
A field sobriety test is completely different from a chemical test. As the accused, you have no legal obligation to submit to this subjective test and are better off politely declining. Even stone cold sober, you have a high chance of failing one of these tests if you are over the age of 40, overweight, are on legal prescription medications, or have any sort of physical or mental impairment. While it’s tempting to cooperate with law enforcement officers when you feel as if you’ve done nothing wrong, the risk of failing one of these fallible tests is simply too great.
Why Time Isn’t on Your Side After a DUI Arrest
Once you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Alabama, there’s a good chance that your driver’s license will be taken and suspended immediately. If you drive to work or have other family obligations, this is probably both inconvenient and terrifying.
Fortunately, you can appeal this automatic suspension but must do so quickly. Your best chance of receiving a restricted license is to have your Alabama DUI attorney request and attend a hearing on your behalf. This hearing request must be submitted within ten days of your arrest. If you miss this deadline, the automatic 90-day suspension cannot be changed.
It’s also possible that even first-time DUI offenders can be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. These devices are inconvenient, expensive, and embarrassing. A skilled DUI attorney can fight for your rights and give you the best chance of avoiding costly and cumbersome consequences. The longer you delay seeking help for your case, the more difficult it will be to shield you from some of these harsh penalties.
Auburn Attorneys Who are Alabama DUI Law Experts
Regardless of the circumstances of your DUI arrest, the DUI attorneys at The Alsobrook Law Firm are experienced in handling all manner of Alabama DUI cases. Whether your case is a misdemeanor first-time DUI or a felony DUI due to a serious accident or your repeat offender status, our firm has proven expertise in Alabama drunk driving law defense.
There are many possible defenses to an Alabama DUI. A skilled Alabama criminal attorney that specializes in a DUI defense can review your case and give you the strategy for dismissal or a reduction of charges. Common tactics include invalidating breathalyzer results, proving an illegal stop, or some other infringement of your rights.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Alabama, don’t try to handle the case on your own and don’t plead guilty. Your best chance of a favorable outcome is to enlist the services of a good DUI defense attorney sooner rather than later. Contact the experienced DUI Attorney Zach Alsobrook at (334) 737-3718 or online to schedule a free consultation.