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Drivers who drink and drive in Auburn and Opelika now face stiffer penalties.  This is particularly true for those who are repeat offenders, who now face even heavier fines and mandatory jail time. A DUI charge can occur in an instant, and the consequences can be far-reaching if you don’t act quickly to protect your rights.

At the law offices of Alsobrook Jackson, Attorneys at Law our experienced Alabama DUI attorneys understand what it takes to effectively represent someone who has been charged with impaired driving. Many citizens who are accused of drunk driving in Alabama find themselves in a situation that is both confusing and frightening.

Make no mistake, a DUI in Alabama is serious and trying to handle a case like this on your own is a bad idea. Without quality legal representation, you could end up facing punishment for a DUI that is entirely unnecessary.

Serious Consequences for a DUI in Auburn, AL

According to Alabama’s DUI law (Alabama code §32-5A-191), a person is considered to be under the influence if their blood alcohol level is .08% or greater. If you are a minor, day care driver, or school bus driver and are arrested for a DUI, the threshold is .02% or greater. The threshold for a driver of a commercial vehicle is .04%.

Most people who are arrested for DUI in Alabama will lose their driver’s license on the spot. If this has happened to you, we have just ten days to request a hearing asking that the state stop the suspension of your driver’s license. This is a separate matter from your DUI case, but must be dealt with as soon as possible if you wish to maintain your driving privileges.

Alabama’s DUI penalties have increased with new laws in the just past several years. The first, second, and third DUI offenses are still considered misdemeanors and the charges are elevated to felony status with the fourth offense. Alabama’s “look-back” period is five years, which means that, if more than five years have passed from any U.S. DUI conviction, the next is considered a first offense.

first DUI offense is punishable by up to one-year in jail, with probation as a possibility. You can be fined from $600 to $2,100 plus court costs and will be required to attend a substance abuse evaluation and treatment. You will also either receive a 90-day driver’s license suspension or will be required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for six months.

second DUI offense requires a minimum of five days in jail or 30 days of community service. The jail sentence has a maximum term of one year. You can be fined from $1,100 to $5,1000 plus court costs, and substance abuse treatment is again a requirement. Your license can be suspended for one year, and you may be required to have an ignition interlock on your vehicle for as long as two years.

third DUI offense is punishable by a 60-day mandatory jail sentence and total jail time up to one year. Your fines can range from $2,100 to $10,000 plus court costs, and you will be required to completed a court-ordered substance abuse program. Your license will be revoked for up to three years in addition to three years of ignition interlock.

fourth DUI offense is a Class “C” felony in Alabama. Jail time begins with a mandatory ten days and can go up to ten years in state prison if convicted of felony DUI. Fines for an Alabama felony DUI can range from $4,100 to $10,100 plus court costs. The offender must complete a State-Certified Chemical Dependency Program. Your license will be revoked for five years with up to five years of ignition interlock.

There are some instances in which these punishments become even harsher. All fines and minimum punishments will be doubled if a DUI test result is .15% or greater. Also, “aggravating circumstances” will require that an ignition interlock device is installed on your vehicle, even for a first DUI offense. These types of situations include having children under the age of 14 in the vehicle, involvement in an accident resulting in injuries, refusing to submit to a breath test, and a test result greater than .15%.

Judges in Alabama DUI cases can use discretion when applying the range of sentencing options in these cases. This is just one of the many reasons that having a skilled and experienced Alabama DUI attorney in your corner is so beneficial.

Strategies for Avoiding a DUI Conviction

Just because you’ve been arrested for a DUI doesn’t necessarily mean that you will end up with a conviction. A DUI conviction can seriously impact both your life today and your future, so it’s important that you take every means necessary to avoid this outcome.

There are any number of defenses to an Alabama DUI case that can either get your case dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. If you’re thinking of saving money and time by pleading your own case or attempting to handle this without an Alabama criminal defense attorney, you’re doing yourself a grave disservice.

Some of the possible defenses we’ve used in these complex cases include uncovering evidence of an improper traffic stop and failure to advise the accused of their rights. Few people realize the many issues with field sobriety tests and even toxicology tests. Under the right circumstances, we can have these test results either thrown out or discredited in order to help your case.

If you are a first-time offender, there may also be pretrial diversion programs in your community that will allow you to completely avoid the criminal courts and put this experience in the past.

Only an experienced Alabama DUI lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your situation and identify the best ways to shield you from the consequences of a DUI conviction. Our Auburn/Opelika, Alabama DUI firm will take the time to listen to your concerns, explain the legal issues in your case, and come up with the best plan for resolution.

Our passionate and experienced Auburn/Opelika DUI attorneys can help you stand up for your rights and will help you work towards the best possible result.

Contact the Auburn, AL and Opelika, AL  DUI attorneys at The Alsobrook Jackson Law Firm today at (334) 737-3718 or contact us online to discuss your case through a free consultation. Remember, your license and driving privileges are on the line, so time is short to take action on your DUI case.

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