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current alabama dui laws and penalties

Alabama DUI Laws Overview

Alabama DUI law states that a person is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance if their blood alcohol level is .08% or greater per Alabama DUI law code §32-5A-191.

Any person under the age of 21 shall be considered to be under the influence per §32-5A-191 if their blood alcohol level is .02% or greater.  Any school bus driver or day care driver shall be considered to be under the influence per §32-5A-191 if their blood alcohol level is .02% or greater.

A person arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Alabama only has ten days from the date of the arrest in which to request an administrative hearing with the Alabama Department of Public Safety if they wish to maintain their driving privileges by obtaining a restricted driver’s license during the mandatory suspension period.  A request for an administrative hearing made after the 10 day period will not be granted and the suspension imposed by the Alabama DPS will be upheld.

Alabama First Offense DUI Penalties

A first offense DUI charge in Alabama means that the defendant has had no prior DUI convictions within the past 5 year.  We strongly recommend that you speak with an Alabama DUI lawyer regarding your case and not try and handle a DUI charge on your own. A first offense charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  The defendant will spend a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in jail.  The amount of jail time can be increased at the judges discretion based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Fines:  The minimum fines for a first offense charge will be $600 and can be increased based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest up to $2,000 for a first offense. First time offender fine amounts will be increased to $1,200 for the following reasons:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

Test Refusal:  Refusal to submit to a chemical test can be used as a presumption of guilty and will result in an additional 90 day suspension of your driver’s license.

DUI Class:  The defendant will be required to attend a court ordered and approved Alabama DUI class and/or a substance abuse program.

Ignition interlock:  An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 2 years for all first time offenders if one or more of the following are true:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

License Suspension:  The defendant’s driver’s license will be suspended by the Alabama DPS for 90 days. If the Alabama DPS grants the defendant a limited work only license to drive to and from work and to DUI school, the DPS will require proof of financial responsibility in the form of an Alabama SR22 insurance policy before they will issue a limited license.  A limited work only license will only be granted if the court deems the defendant not to be a risk to the general public.

Alabama Second Offense DUI Penalties

A second offense DUI charge in Alabama means that the defendant has had one prior DUI conviction within the past 5 years.  A second offense charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a second offense charge is five days in jail or up to 1 year in jail.  The amount of jail time can be increased from the minimum up to the maximum at the judges discretion based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest and previous convictions.  The judge may order the defendant to serve 30 days of community service in lieu of the mandatory 5 days jail sentence. If any of the following apply, the jail sentence will be doubled:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

Fines:  The minimum fines for a second offense charge will be $1,100 and can be increased based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest up to a maximum of $5,000 for a second offense charge.  If any of the following apply, the fine amount will be doubled:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.<
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

Test Refusal:  Refusal to submit to a chemical test can be used as a presumption of guilty and will result in an additional 1 year suspension of your driver’s license.

DUI Class:  The defendant will be required to attend a court ordered and approved DUI class and/or a substance abuse program.

Ignition interlock:  An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 2 years for all second time offenders if one or more of the following are true:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

License Suspension:  The defendant’s driver’s license will be revoked by the Alabama DPS for 1 year. The Alabama DPS will not grant a limited work only license to someone convicted of a second offense within a 5 year period.  You will be require to show proof of an Alabama SR22 Insurance policy before the DPS will reinstate your license.

Alabama Third Offense DUI Penalties

A first offense DUI charge in Alabama means that the defendant has had no prior DUI convictions within the past 5 year.  We strongly recommend that you speak with an Alabama DUI lawyer regarding your case and not try and handle a DUI charge on your own. A third offense charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  The defendant will spend a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in jail.  The amount of jail time can be increased at the judges discretion based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Fines:  The minimum fines for a first offense charge will be $600 and can be increased based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest up to $2,000 for a first offense. First time offender fine amounts will be increased to $1,200 for the following reasons:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.<
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

Test Refusal:  Refusal to submit to a chemical test can be used as a presumption of guilty and will result in an additional 90 day suspension of your driver’s license.

DUI School:  The defendant will be required to attend a court ordered and approved DUI class and/or a substance abuse program.

Ignition interlock:  An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 2 years for all first time offenders if one or more of the following are true:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.<
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

License Suspension:  The defendant’s driver’s license will be suspended by the Alabama DPS for 90 days. If the Alabama DPS grants the defendant a limited work only license to drive to and from work and to DUI school, the DPS will require proof of financial responsibility in the form of an Alabama SR22 insurance policy before they will issue a limited license.  A limited work only license will only be granted if the court deems the defendant not to be a risk to the general public.

Alabama Subsequent Offense DUI Penalties

A fourth offense or subsequent DUI charge in Alabama means that the defendant has had three or more prior DUI convictions within their lifetime.  A fourth or subsequent offense charge is considered a Class C Felony charge and carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a fourth or subsequent offense charge is 1 year and 1 day in jail or up to 10 years in jail.  The amount of jail time can be increased from the minimum up to the maximum at the judges discretion based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest and past convictions.

Fines:  The minimum fines for a fourth or subsequent offense charge are $4,000 and can be increased based upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest and previous convictions up to a maximum of $10,000 for a fourth offense charge.  There is also a $100 fine assessed to the Impaired Drivers Trust fund per Alabama code §32-5A-191.1, this fine is in addition to the fines imposed by the court.

DUI Class:  The defendant will be required to attend a court ordered and approved DUI class and/or a substance abuse program.

Ignition interlock:  An ignition interlock will be required for a period of 2 years for all fourth or subsequent time offenders if one or more of the following are true:
– Had a BAC of .15% or higher at the time of arrest.
– Had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time.
– Caused an accident resulting in the injury of another person.

License Suspension:  The defendant’s driver’s license will be revoked by the Alabama DPS for 5 years. The Alabama DPS will not grant a limited work only license to someone convicted of a fourth or subsequent offense within their lifetime.  You will be required to file an SR22 with the DPS before they will reinstate your driver’s license.

Complying with the Court Orders

Failure to comply with any court ordered requirements will make a defendant ineligible for a driver’s license reinstatement and may include a return trip to court and additional jail time for failure to comply with court orders.

SR22 Insurance Requirements

Before the Alabama DPS will reinstate your driver’s license following a suspension or revocation period, you must show proof of successful completion of the court ordered DUI school or substance abuse program along with proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR22 filing with the DPS before they will reinstate your driver’s license.

You will be required to maintain this SR22 filing for a period of 3 years following the reinstatement of your driver’s license.  if at anytime during this 3 year period you are even one day late on making your payment to your SR22 insurance provider, they are obligated to inform the Alabama DPS of this lapse in coverage and the DPS will suspend or revoke your license immediately.

You will then have to file another SR22 with the DPS in order for them to reinstate your license.  You should know that the costs for Alabama SR22 insurance can vary greatly from company to company so it is important that you find the best deal you can on SR22 insurance upfront since you will have to maintain the policy for the next three years.

sr22 insurance quote

Additional Alabama DUI Resources

  • Alabama First Offense DUI – First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
  • Alabama Second Offense DUI – Second offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
  • Alabama Third Offense DUI – Third offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
  • Alabama Fourth or Subsequent Offense DUI – Fourth offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
  • Alabama SR22 Insurance Filing – We have compiled everything you need to know about Alabama’s SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • Alabama Alcohol Abuse Classes – We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI & alcohol abuse classes.
  • Alabama Bail Bondsmen – Comprehensive list of Alabama bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.
  • State Statutes – Complete Alabama DUI statute regarding DUI laws and penalties.
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