As lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama, we see our fair share of DUIs and operating while intoxicated violations. The rate has been growing year-over-year, accounting for 40% to 50% of the total motor vehicle related deaths each year. The majority of DUIs aren’t as serious and luckily are caught before something fatal occurs.
In Alabama, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is set at 0.08% for drivers over 21 years of age and it is set at 0.02% for those under 21 (which is known as “zero tolerance”). For individuals in public service roles, such as school bus drivers, the limit is set at 0.04%. Having a license in Alabama automatically provides your consent to perform a breathalyzer or a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine to determine your BAC. If you refuse to take either of these tests, your license will be suspended for 90 days (first offense). In Alabama, even being dead or unconscious does not protect you from this requirement – the law enforcement agency can still administer the test. Refusing the test also does not mean you will not get the DUI charge; in fact, the prosecution can use it against you by arguing that you refused the test because you knew you were intoxicated and guilty of a DUI.
If you are over 21 years old and are caught for the first time with a BAC of over 0.08%, the penalties include charging you with a misdemeanor, a $600-$2,100 fine, and/or imprisonment for us to one year. If you’re caught driving under the influence of drugs, your license will be suspended for 90 days and you’ll need to attend a DUI school. Those who are under 21 years of age and caught driving while intoxicated will have six points automatically added to their driving record and their license may be revoked for 90 days (this is not mandatory). If you are curious about the number of drinks that will affect your BAC, refer to this chart from dui.drivinglaws.org:
Regardless of the situation, if you’re arrested on DUI charges, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel immediately. Our team at Sheffield and Lentine have handled hundreds of these cases and have the experience to understand what options you may have, giving you a much better chance of getting a lesser sentence.
Call us today:
205 N. 20th St., Suite 915
Birmingham, AL 35203-4705