skip to Main Content

Alabama DUI Statutes and Penalties

Section 32-5A-191: Driving while under influence of alcohol, controlled substances, etc.

(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while:

(1) There is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood;

(2) Under the influence of alcohol;

(3) Under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving;

(4) Under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving; or

(5) Under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of such person to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving.

(b) A person who is under the age of 21 years shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle if there is .02 percentage or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. The Department of Public Safety shall suspend or revoke the driver’s license of any person, including, but not limited to, a juvenile, child, or youthful offender, convicted or adjudicated of, or subjected to a finding of delinquency based on this subsection. Notwithstanding the foregoing, upon the first violation of this subsection by a person whose blood alcohol level is between .02 and .08, the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege shall be suspended for a period of 30 days in lieu of any penalties provided in subsection (e) of this section and there shall be no disclosure, other than to courts, law enforcement agencies, and the person’s employer, by any entity or person of any information, documents, or records relating to the person’s arrest, conviction, or adjudication of or finding of delinquency based on this subsection.

All persons, except as otherwise provided in this subsection for a first offense, including, but not limited to, a juvenile, child, or youthful offender, convicted or adjudicated of, or subjected to a finding of delinquency based on this subsection shall be fined pursuant to this section, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, and the person shall also be required to attend and complete a DUI or substance abuse court referral program in accordance with subsection (i).

(c)(1) A school bus or day care driver shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while in performance of his or her duties if there is greater than .02 percentage by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. A person convicted pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the penalties provided by this section except that on the first conviction the Director of Public Safety shall suspend the driving privilege or driver’s license for a period of one year.

(2) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 49 CFR Part 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as adopted pursuant to Section 32-9A-2, if there is .04 percentage or greater by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the commercial driver’s license or commercial driving privilege of a person convicted of violating this subdivision shall be suspended for the period provided in accordance with 49 CFR Part 383.51 or 49 CFR Part 391.15, as applicable, and the person’s regular driver’s license or privilege to drive a regular motor vehicle shall be governed by the remainder of this section if the person is guilty of a violation of another provision of this section.

(d) The fact that any person charged with violating this section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a controlled substance shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

(e) Upon first conviction: a person violating this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not more than one year, or by fine of not less than six hundred dollars ($600) nor more than two thousand one hundred dollars ($2,100), or by both a fine and imprisonment. In addition, on a first conviction, the Director of Public Safety shall suspend the driving privilege or driver’s license of the person convicted for a period of 90 days.

(f) Upon second conviction: within a five-year period, a person convicted of violating this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand one hundred dollars ($1,100) nor more than five thousand one hundred dollars ($5,100) and by imprisonment, which may include hard labor in the county or municipal jail for not more than one year. The sentence shall include a mandatory sentence, which is not subject to suspension or probation, of imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not less than five days or community service for not less than 30 days. In addition the Director of Public Safety shall revoke the driving privileges or driver’s license of the person convicted for a period of one year.

(g) Upon third conviction: a person convicted of violating this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than two thousand one hundred dollars ($2,100) nor more than ten thousand one hundred dollars ($10,100) and by imprisonment, which may include hard labor, in the county or municipal jail for not less than 60 days nor more than one year, to include a minimum of 60 days which shall be served in the county or municipal jail and cannot be probated or suspended. In addition, the Director of Public Safety shall revoke the driving privilege or driver’s license of the person convicted for a period of three years.

(h) Upon fourth or subsequent conviction: a person convicted of violating this section shall be guilty of a Class C felony and punished by a fine of not less than four thousand one hundred dollars ($4,100) nor more than ten thousand one hundred dollars ($10,100) and by imprisonment of not less than one year and one day nor more than 10 years. Any term of imprisonment may include hard labor for the county or state, and where imprisonment does not exceed three years confinement may be in the county jail. Where imprisonment does not exceed one year and one day, confinement shall be in the county jail. The minimum sentence shall include a term of imprisonment for at least one year and one day, provided, however, that there shall be a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 days which shall be served in the county jail. The remainder of the sentence may be suspended or probated, but only if as a condition of probation the defendant enrolls and successfully completes a state certified chemical dependency program recommended by the court referral officer and approved by the sentencing court. Where probation is granted, the sentencing court may, in its discretion, and where monitoring equipment is available, place the defendant on house arrest under electronic surveillance during the probationary term. In addition to the other penalties authorized, the Director of Public Safety shall revoke the driving privilege or driver’s license of the person convicted for a period of five years.

The Alabama habitual felony offender law shall not apply to a conviction of a felony pursuant to this subsection, and a conviction of a felony pursuant to this subsection shall not be a felony conviction for purposes of the enhancement of punishment pursuant to Alabama’s habitual felony offender law.

(i) In addition to the penalties provided herein, any person convicted of violating this section shall be referred to the court referral officer for evaluation and referral to appropriate community resources. The defendant shall, at a minimum, be required to complete a DUI or substance abuse court referral program approved by the Administrative Office of Courts and operated in accordance with provisions of the Mandatory Treatment Act of 1990, Sections 12-23-1 to 12-23-19, inclusive. The Department of Public Safety shall not reissue a driver’s license to a person convicted under this section without receiving proof that the defendant has successfully completed the required program.

(j) Neither reckless driving nor any other traffic infraction is a lesser included offense under a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or of a controlled substance.

(k) Except for fines collected for violations of this section charged pursuant to a municipal ordinance, fines collected for violations of this section shall be deposited to the State General Fund; however, beginning October 1, 1995, of any amount collected over two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a first conviction, over five hundred dollars ($500) for a second conviction within five years, over one thousand dollars ($1,000) for a third conviction within five years, and over two thousand dollars ($2,000) for a fourth or subsequent conviction within five years, the first one hundred dollars ($100) of that additional amount shall be deposited to the Alabama Chemical Testing Training and Equipment Trust Fund, after three percent of the one hundred dollars ($100) is deducted for administrative costs, and beginning October 1, 1997, and thereafter, the second one hundred dollars ($100) of that additional amount shall be deposited in the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund after deducting five percent of the one hundred dollars ($100) for administrative costs and the remainder of the funds shall be deposited to the State General Fund. Fines collected for violations of this section charged pursuant to a municipal ordinance where the total fine is paid at one time shall be deposited as follows: The first three hundred fifty dollars ($350) collected for a first conviction, the first six hundred dollars ($600) collected for a second conviction within five years, the first one thousand one hundred dollars ($1,100) collected for a third conviction, and the first two thousand one hundred dollars ($2,100) collected for a fourth or subsequent conviction shall be deposited to the State Treasury with the first one hundred dollars ($100) collected for each conviction credited to the Alabama Chemical Testing Training and Equipment Trust Fund and the second one hundred dollars ($100) to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund after deducting five percent of the one hundred dollars ($100) for administrative costs and depositing this amount in the general fund of the municipality, and the balance credited to the State General Fund. Any amounts collected over these amounts shall be deposited as otherwise provided by law. Fines collected for violations of this section charged pursuant to a municipal ordinance, where the fine is paid on a partial or installment basis, shall be deposited as follows: The first two hundred dollars ($200) of the fine collected for any conviction shall be deposited to the State Treasury with the first one hundred dollars ($100) collected for any conviction credited to the Alabama Chemical Testing Training and Equipment Trust Fund and the second one hundred dollars ($100) for any conviction credited to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund after deducting five percent of the one hundred dollars ($100) for administrative costs and depositing this amount in the general fund of the municipality. The second three hundred dollars ($300) of the fine collected for a first conviction, the second eight hundred dollars ($800) collected for a second conviction, the second one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) collected for a third conviction, and the second three thousand eight hundred dollars ($3,800) collected for a fourth conviction shall be divided with 50 percent of the funds collected to be deposited to the State Treasury to be credited to the State General Fund and 50 percent deposited as otherwise provided by law for municipal ordinance violations. Any amounts collected over these amounts shall be deposited as otherwise provided by law for municipal ordinance violations. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, 90 percent of any fine assessed and collected for any DUI offense charged by municipal ordinance violation in district or circuit court shall be computed only on the amount assessed over the minimum fine authorized, and upon collection shall be distributed to the municipal general fund with the remaining 10 percent distributed to the State General Fund.

(l) A person who has been arrested for violating this section shall not be released from jail under bond or otherwise, until there is less than the same percent by weight of alcohol in his or her blood as specified in subsection (a)(1) or, in the case of a person who is under the age of 21 years, subsection (b) hereof.

(m) Upon verification that a defendant arrested pursuant to this section is currently on probation from another court of this state as a result of a conviction for any criminal offense, the prosecutor shall provide written or oral notification of the defendant’s subsequent arrest and pending prosecution to the court in which the prior conviction occurred.

(n) When any person over the age of 21 years is convicted pursuant to this section and a child under the age of 14 years was present in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the defendant shall be sentenced to double the minimum punishment that the person would have received if the child had not been present in the motor vehicle.

(o) A prior conviction within a five-year period for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs from this state, a municipality within this state, or another state or territory or a municipality of another state or territory shall be considered by a court for imposing a sentence pursuant to this section.

(p) Any person convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, or a controlled substance, or both, or any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties in violation of this section, a municipal ordinance adopting this section, or a similar law from another state or territory or a municipality of another state or territory more than once in a five-year period shall have his or her motor vehicle registration for all vehicles owned by the repeat offender suspended by the Alabama Department of Revenue for the duration of the offender’s driver’s license suspension period, unless such action would impose an undue hardship to any individual, not including the repeat offender, who is completely dependent on the motor vehicle for the necessities of life, including any family member of the repeat offender and any co-owner of the vehicle.

Section 32-5A-191.2: Administration and disposition of moneys in Impaired Drivers Trust Fund

(a) Beginning October 1, 1994, moneys in the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund shall be distributed to the Division of Rehabilitation Services in the State Department of Education for the following purposes:

(1) As a payer of last resort for the costs of care provided in this state for citizens of this state who have survived neuro-trauma with head or spinal cord injuries. Expenditures for spinal cord injury and head injury care shall be made by the Division of Rehabilitation Services according to criteria established by the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund Advisory Board. Expenditures may include but need not be limited to, post acute medical care, rehabilitation therapies, medication, attendant care, home accessibility modification, and equipment necessary for activities of daily living.

(2) Public information, prevention education, and research coordinated by the Alabama Head Injury Foundation.

(b) The Division of Rehabilitation Services shall issue a report to the Legislature on the first day of the regular session of each year, summarizing the activities supported by the moneys from the additional fines levied in this section and Section 32-5A-191.1.

Section 32-5A-191.3: Operation of vessel and other marine devices while under influence of alcohol or controlled substances

(a) A person shall not operate or be in actual physical control of any vessel, or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or any other marine transportation device on the waters of this state, as the waters are defined in Section 33-5-3, under any condition in which a person would be guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs pursuant to Section 32-5A-191 if the person was driving or controlling a motor vehicle.

(b) In the case of a vessel or other marine device described in subsection (a), where a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the operator of the vessel or other marine device is operating in violation of this section, the law enforcement officer is authorized to administer and may test the operator, at the scene, by using a field breathalyzer or other approved device, as a screening device, to determine if the operator may be operating a vessel or device in violation of subsection (a). Refusal to submit to a field breathalyzer test or other approved testing device shall result in the same punishment as provided in subsection (c) of Section 32-5-192 for operators of motor vehicles on the state highways.

(c) The fact that any person charged with violating this section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a controlled substance shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

(d) Upon a first or subsequent conviction, a person violating this section shall be punished in the same manner and under the same conditions as a person convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs pursuant to Section 32-5A-191, or any successor section or sections providing for the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, except that in any case where reference is made to the Director of Public Safety and the driving privilege or driver’s license of the person, the reference shall be deemed to refer to the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources and the vessel operating privilege or boater safety certification of the person convicted under this section.

(e) Neither reckless or careless operation of a vessel, nor any other boating or water safety infraction, is a lesser included offense under a charge of operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

(f) All fines collected for violation of this section as to vessels or other marine devices on the waters of this state shall be paid into the State Water Safety Fund.

(g) A person who has been arrested for violating this section shall not be released from jail under bond or otherwise, until there is less than the same percent by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood as specified in subdivision (1) of subsection (a).

(h) Upon verification that a defendant arrested pursuant to this section is currently on probation from another court of this state as a result of a conviction for any criminal offense, the prosecutor shall provide written or oral notification of the defendant’s subsequent arrest and pending prosecution to the court in which the prior conviction occurred.
(i) When any person over the age of 21 years is convicted pursuant to this section and a child under the age of 14 years was present on the vessel or other marine device described in subsection (a) at the time of the offense, the defendant shall be sentenced to double the minimum punishment that the person would have received if the child had not been present.

(j) “Vessel,” for the purposes of this section, shall mean any vessel as defined in Section 33-5-3, operated on the waters of this state, as defined in Section 33-5-3.

(k) No provision of this section shall be construed to assess points for DUI convictions under motor vehicle convictions for driving under the influence.

Section 32-5A-191.4: Ignition interlock devices

(a) As used in Section 32-5A-191, the term, “ignition interlock device” means a constant monitoring device that prevents a motor vehicle from being started at any time without first determining the equivalent blood alcohol level of the operator through the taking of a breath sample for testing. The system shall be calibrated so that the motor vehicle may not be started if the blood alcohol level of the operator, as measured by the test, reaches a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.02.

(b) The ignition interlock device shall be installed, calibrated, and monitored directly by trained technicians who shall train the offender for whom the device is being installed in the proper use of the device. The use of a mail in or remote calibration system where the technician is not in the immediate proximity of the vehicle being calibrated is prohibited.

(c) The Department of Forensic Sciences shall formulate and promulgate rules for the proper approval, installation, and use of ignition interlock devices. Additionally, the Department of Forensic Sciences shall maintain and make public the list of approved ignition interlock devices.

(d) The Department of Forensic Sciences may adopt in whole or relevant part the guidelines, rules, regulations, studies, or independent laboratory tests performed or relied upon by other states, their agencies, or commissions.

(e) The Department of Forensic Sciences shall charge an application fee of two thousand dollars ($2,000) to any ignition interlock provider to evaluate the instrument. Any ignition interlock provider whose ignition interlock device is approved by the Department of Forensic Sciences shall be permitted to install and calibrate its approved device in Alabama.

(f) In the absence of negligence, wantonness, or willful misconduct, no person or employer or agent of a person who installs an ignition interlock device pursuant to Section 32-5A-191 shall be liable for any occurrence related to the device, including, but not limited to, occurrences resulting from or related to a malfunction of the device or use of, misuse of, or failure to use the device or the vehicle in which the device was installed.

(g)(1) When the court imposes the use of an ignition interlock device as required by Section 32-5A-191, the court shall require that the person provide proof of installation of a device to the court or a probation officer within 30 days. If the person fails to provide proof of installation within that period, absent a finding by the court of good cause for that failure which is entered into the court record, the court shall revoke the person’s probation.

(2) Proof of installation for the purpose of this subsection may be furnished by either a certificate of installation or a copy of the lease agreement in the name of the offender for the designated vehicle with an approved ignition interlock device company.

(3) A defendant who is determined by the court to be indigent may have an ignition interlock device installed by an ignition interlock provider as provided in this subsection. Criteria for determining indigency shall be the same criteria as set forth in Section 15-12-5(b). In determining whether the defendant is indigent, the judge shall require an investigation and report by a sheriff, probation officer, or other officer of the court. The report may include input from the district attorney. The accused shall execute an affidavit of substantial hardship on a form approved by the Supreme Court. The completed affidavit of substantial hardship and the subsequent order of the court either denying or granting indigency status to the offender shall become a part of the official court record in the case and shall be submitted by the offender to the interlock provider.

(4) Any offender granted indigency status shall pay one-half of the costs associated with installing and maintaining an interlock device. This section shall not affect any fees associated with the driver’s license of the defendant.

(5) All interlock providers shall be required to pay one and one-half percent of all payments collected to the Alabama Interlock Indigent Fund in the State Treasury. All of the money in the fund shall be used to reimburse ignition interlock device providers who have installed devices in vehicles of indigent persons pursuant to court orders issued under this section. No provider shall be reimbursed for an interlock device installed without the completed affidavit of substantial hardship and the subsequent order of the court granting indigency status. Payments to interlock device providers pursuant to this subdivision shall be made every three months. If the amount of money in the fund at the time payments are made is not sufficient to pay all requests for reimbursement submitted during that three-month period, the Comptroller shall make payments on a pro rata basis and those payments shall be considered payment in full for the requests submitted. At the end of each fiscal year, all monies above one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) remaining in the Alabama Interlock Indigent Fund shall be divided as follows:

a. Thirty percent to the Department of Public Safety.
b. Twenty percent to the Department of Forensic Sciences.
c. Thirty percent to the district attorney of jurisdiction.
d. Twenty percent to the Office of Prosecution Services.

(6) Any defendant who does not own a vehicle or otherwise have an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle shall be required to pay seventy-five dollars ($75) per month, the same approximate cost the defendant would have paid to an ignition interlock provider if the defendant had an interlock device installed. Any monies paid pursuant to this subdivision shall be paid to the court clerk and shall be deposited in the Alabama Impaired Driving Prevention and Enforcement Fund in the State Treasury to be used by the Department of Public Safety for impaired driving education and enforcement.

(h) No person who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle unless it is equipped with an ignition interlock device as provided in Section 32-5A-191 shall knowingly:

(1) Operate, lease, or borrow a motor vehicle unless that vehicle is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device.
(2) Request or solicit any other person to blow into an ignition interlock device or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing the person so restricted with an operable motor vehicle.

(i)(1) Any person who operates a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (h) shall be immediately removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. The vehicle, regardless of ownership or possessory interest of the operator or person present in the vehicle, except when the owner of the vehicle or another family member of the owner is present in the vehicle and presents a valid driver’s license, shall be impounded by any duly sworn law enforcement officer pursuant to Section 32-6-19(c). If there is an emergency or medical necessity jeopardizing life or limb, the law enforcement officer may elect not to impound the vehicle.

(2) A violation of subsection (h) on the first offense is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable as provided by law. In addition, the time the defendant is required to use an ignition interlock device shall be extended by six months. Upon second conviction of a violation of subsection (h), the sentence shall include a mandatory sentence, which is not subject to suspension or probation, of imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not less than 48 hours and the time the defendant is required to use an ignition interlock device shall be extended by six months. Upon a third or subsequent conviction of a violation of subsection (h), the sentence shall include a mandatory sentence, which is not subject to suspension or probation, of imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not less than five days and the time the defendant shall be required to use an ignition interlock device shall be extended by one year.

(j) No person shall blow into an ignition interlock device or start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device.

(k) No person shall intentionally attempt to tamper with, defeat, or circumvent the operation of an ignition interlock device.

(l) Any person convicted of a violation of this section other than subsection (h) shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.

Section 32-5A-194: Chemical tests; admissible as evidence; procedure for valid chemical analyses

(a) Upon the trial of any civil, criminal, or quasi-criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person while driving or in actual control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, evidence of the amount of alcohol or controlled substance in a person’s blood at the alleged time, as determined by a chemical analysis of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, shall be admissible. Where such a chemical test is made the following provisions shall apply:

(1) Chemical analyses of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance to be considered valid under the provisions of this section shall have been performed according to methods approved by the Department of Forensic Sciences and by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Department of Forensic Sciences for this purpose. The court trying the case may take judicial notice of the methods approved by the Department of Forensic Sciences. The Department of Forensic Sciences is authorized to approve satisfactory techniques or methods, to ascertain the qualifications and competence of individuals to conduct such analyses, and to issue permits which shall be subject to termination or revocation at the discretion of the Department of Forensic Sciences. The Department of Forensic Sciences shall approve permits required in this section only for employees of state, county, municipal, and federal law enforcement agencies and for laboratory personnel employed by the Department of Forensic Sciences.

(2) When a person shall submit to a blood test at the direction of a law enforcement officer under the provisions of Section 32-5-192, only a physician or a registered nurse (or other qualified person) may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content therein. This limitation shall not apply to the taking of breath or urine specimens. If the test given under Section 32-5-192 is a chemical test of urine, the person tested shall be given such privacy in the taking of the urine specimen as will insure the accuracy of the specimen and, at the same time, maintain the dignity of the individual involved.

(3) The person tested may at his or her own expense have a physician, or a qualified technician, registered nurse or other qualified person of his or her own choosing administer a chemical test or tests in addition to any administered at the discretion of a law enforcement officer. The failure or inability to obtain an additional test by a person shall not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the test or tests taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

(4) Upon the written request of the person who shall submit to a chemical test or tests at the request of a law enforcement officer, full information concerning the test or tests shall be made available to him or her or his or her attorney.

(5) Percent by weight of alcohol in the blood shall be based upon grams of alcohol per 100 cubic centimeters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(b) Upon the trial of any civil, criminal, or quasi-criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, the amount of alcohol in the person’s blood at the time alleged as shown by chemical analysis of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance shall give rise to the following presumptions:

(1) If there were at that time 0.05 percent or less by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol unless the person was operating a motor vehicle in performance of his or her duties as a school bus driver or day care driver at that time or was under the age of 21 years at that time.

(2) If there were at the time in excess of 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol unless the person was operating a motor vehicle in performance of his or her duties as a school bus driver or day care driver at that time or was under the age of 21 years at that time.

(3) If there were at that time 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, or greater than .02 percent if the person was operating a motor vehicle in performance of his or her duties as a school bus driver or day care driver at that time or was under the age of 21 years at that time, it shall be presumed that the person was under the influence of alcohol.

(4) The foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not be construed as limiting the introduction of any other competent evidence bearing upon the question whether the person was under the influence of alcohol.

(c) If a person under arrest refuses to submit to a chemical test under the provisions of Section 32-5-192, evidence of refusal shall be admissible in any civil, criminal, or quasi-criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

(d) No physician, registered nurse, or duly licensed chemical laboratory technologist or clinical laboratory technician or medical facility shall incur any civil or criminal liability as a result of the proper administering of a blood test when requested in writing by a law enforcement officer to administer such a test.

Section 32-5A-195: Cancellation, suspension, or revocation of driver’s license; grounds, procedure

(a) The Director of Public Safety is hereby authorized to cancel any driver’s license upon determining that the licensee was not entitled to the issuance thereof hereunder or that said licensee failed to give the correct or required information in his or her application. Upon such cancellation the licensee must surrender the license so cancelled. If such licensee refuses to surrender such license, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) The privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the highways of this state given to a nonresident hereunder shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the Director of Public Safety in like manner and for like cause as a driver’s license issued hereunder may be suspended or revoked.

(c) The Director of Public Safety is further authorized, upon receiving a record of the conviction in this state of a nonresident driver of a motor vehicle of any offense, to forward a certified copy of such record to the motor vehicle administrator in the state wherein the person so convicted is a resident.

(d) When a nonresident’s operating privilege is suspended or revoked, the Director of Public Safety shall forward a certified copy of the record of such action to the motor vehicle administrator in the state wherein such person resides.

(e) The Director of Public Safety is authorized to suspend or revoke the license of any resident of this state or the privilege of a nonresident to drive a motor vehicle in this state upon receiving notice of the conviction of such person in another state of any offense therein which, if committed in this state, would be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the license of a driver.

(f) The Director of Public Safety may give such effect to conduct of a resident in another state as is provided by the laws of this state had such conduct occurred in this state.

(g) Whenever any person is convicted of any offense for which this chapter makes mandatory the revocation of the license of such person by the department, the court in which such conviction is had shall require the surrender to it of any driver’s license then held by the person convicted and the court shall thereupon forward the same together with a record of such conviction to the Director of Public Safety.

(h) Every court having jurisdiction over offenses committed under this article or any other law of this state or municipal ordinance adopted by a local authority regulating the operation of motor vehicles on highways, shall forward to the Director of Public Safety within 10 days a record of the conviction of any person in said court for a violation of any said laws other than regulations governing standing or parking, and may recommend the suspension of the driver’s license of the person so convicted.

(i) For the purposes of this article the term conviction shall mean a final conviction. Also, for the purposes of this article an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure a defendant’s appearance in court, a plea of nolo contendere accepted by the court, the payment of a fine, a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt of a traffic violation charge, shall be equivalent to a conviction regardless of whether the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.

(j) The Director of Public Safety shall forthwith revoke the license of any driver upon receiving a record of such driver’s conviction of any of the following offenses:

(1) Manslaughter or homicide by vehicle resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, including a person who is adjudicated as a youthful offender based on an underlying charge of manslaughter or homicide by vehicle, but there shall be no disclosure, other than to courts and law enforcement agencies by any entity or person of any information, documents, or records relating to the youthful offender’s arrest, conviction, or adjudication of or finding of delinquency related to such manslaughter or homicide by vehicle;

(2) Upon a first conviction of driving or being in actual physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving or under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving, such revocation shall take place only when ordered by the court rendering such conviction;

(3) Upon a second or subsequent conviction within a five-year period, of driving or being in actual physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving or under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving;

(4) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;

(5) Failure to stop, render aid, or identify himself or herself as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another;

(6) Perjury or the making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the Director of Public Safety under this article or under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles;

(7) Conviction upon three charges of reckless driving committed within a period of 12 months;

(8) Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle belonging to another which act does not amount to a felony.

(k) The Director of Public Safety is hereby authorized to suspend the license of a driver without preliminary hearing upon a showing by its records or other sufficient evidence that the licensee:

(1) Has committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction;

(2) Has been convicted with such frequency of serious offenses against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles as to indicate a disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highways;
(3) Is an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle, such fact being established by a record of accidents, or by other evidence;

(4) Is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle;

(5) Has permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of such license;

(6) Has committed an offense in another state which if committed in this state would be grounds for suspension or revocation;

(7) Has been convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer; or

(8) Has been convicted of racing on the highways.

(l) Upon suspending the license of any person as hereinbefore in this section authorized, the Director of Public Safety shall immediately notify the licensee in writing and upon his or her request shall afford him or her an opportunity for a hearing as early as practicable, not to exceed 30 days after receipt of such request in the county wherein the licensee resides unless the Director of Public Safety and the licensee agree that such hearing may be held in some other county. Such hearing shall be before the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent. Upon such hearing the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent may administer oaths and may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses in the production of relevant books and papers and may require a reexamination of the licensee. Upon such hearing the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent shall either rescind its order of suspension or, good cause appearing therefor, may continue, modify or extend the suspension of such licensee or revoke such license. If the license has been suspended as a result of the licensee’s driving while under the influence of alcohol, the director or his or her agent conducting the hearing shall take into account, among other relevant factors, the licensee’s successful completion of any duly established “highway intoxication seminar,” “DWI counterattack course” or similar educational program designed for problem drinking drivers. If the hearing is conducted by a duly authorized agent instead of by the Director of Public Safety himself or herself, the action of such agent must be approved by the Director of Public Safety.

(m) The Director of Public Safety shall not suspend a driver’s license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle upon the public highways for a period of more than one year, except as permitted under Section 32-6-19.

(n) At the end of the period of suspension a license surrendered to the Director of Public Safety under subsection (o) shall be returned to the licensee.

(o) The Director of Public Safety upon cancelling, suspending, or revoking a license shall require that such license be surrendered to and be retained by the Director of Public Safety. Any person whose license has been cancelled, suspended, or revoked shall immediately return his or her license to the Director of Public Safety. If such licensee refuses to surrender such license, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(p) Any resident or nonresident whose driver’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state has been suspended or revoked as provided in this section shall not operate a motor vehicle in this state under a license or permit issued by any other jurisdiction or otherwise during such suspension or after such revocation until a new license is obtained when and as permitted under this article.

(q) Any person denied a license or whose license has been cancelled, suspended, or revoked by the Director of Public Safety except where such cancellation or revocation is mandatory under the provisions of this article shall have the right to file a petition within 30 days thereafter for a hearing in the matter in the circuit court in the county wherein such person resides, or in the case of cancellation, suspension, or revocation of a nonresident’s operating privilege in the county in which the main office of the Director of Public Safety is located, and such court is hereby vested with jurisdiction and it shall be its duty to set the matter for hearing upon 30 days’ written notice to the Director of Public Safety, and thereupon to take testimony and examine into the facts of the case and to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to a license or is subject to suspension, cancellation, or revocation of license under the provisions of this section.

Section 32-5A-300: Determinations requiring suspension of driving privileges by director

(a) The director, or his or her agent, shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon a determination that the person drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while the amount of alcohol in the blood of the person was above the legal limit.

(b) The director, or his or her agent, shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon a determination that the person refused a test to determine the amount of alcohol in the blood of the person as provided in Section 32-5-192.

(c) The director, or his or her agent, shall make a determination pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) based on the report of a law enforcement officer required in Section 32-5A-301, and this determination shall be final unless an administrative review is requested under Section 32-5A-306 or a hearing is held under Section 32-5A-307.

(d) The determination of these facts by the director, or his or her agent, is independent of the determination of the same or similar facts in the adjudication of any criminal charges arising out of the same occurrence. The disposition of these criminal charges shall not affect any suspension under this section.

Section 32-5A-301: Report of arresting officer

(a) A law enforcement officer who arrests any person for a violation of Section 32-5A-191 shall within five days after the day of arrest, excluding weekends and state holidays, hand deliver or mail to the department a sworn report of all information relevant to the enforcement action, including information which adequately identifies the arrested person, a statement of the officer’s grounds for belief that the person violated Section 32-5A-191, a sworn report of the results of any chemical test which was conducted, a statement if the person refused to submit to a test, and a copy of the citation or complaint filed with the court.

(b) The report required by this section shall be made on forms supplied by the department or in a manner specified by regulations of the department.

(c) The department shall not take action on any report not sworn to and not mailed and postmarked or received by the department within five days after the day of arrest, excluding weekends and state holidays, and the driver license of the person shall be returned.

Section 32-5A-302: Determination by director; notice

(a) Upon receipt of the report of the law enforcement officer, the director, or his or her agent, shall make the determination described in Section 32-5A-300. If the director, or his or her agent, determines that the person is subject to driving privilege suspension, the director, or the agent, shall issue a notice of the suspension.

(b) The notice of suspension shall be mailed to the person at the last known address shown on the department’s record. The notice is deemed received three days after mailing.

(c) The notice of suspension shall clearly specify the reason and statutory grounds for suspension, the effective date of the suspension, the right of the person to request an administrative review and a hearing, the procedure for requesting an administrative review and a hearing, and the date by which a request for an administrative review is required to be made in order to receive a determination prior to the effective date of the suspension.

(d) If the director, or his or her agent, determines that the person is not subject to driving privilege suspension, the director, or his or her agent, shall notify the person of the determination.

Section 32-5A-303: Notice of intended suspension

(a) If the chemical test results for a person charged with a violation of Section 32-5A-191 show 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person, or the person refuses a test, the officer, acting on behalf of the director, shall serve a notice of intended suspension personally on the arrested person.

(b) When serving a notice of intended suspension, the law enforcement officer shall take possession of any driver’s license issued by this state which is held by the person. When taking possession of a valid driver’s license issued by this state, the officer, acting on behalf of the director, shall issue a temporary driving permit which is valid for 30 days after the date of issuance.

(c) A copy of the completed notice of intended suspension form, a copy of any completed temporary driving permit form, and any driver’s license taken into possession under this section shall be forwarded within five days to the department by the officer.

(d) The department shall provide forms for notice of intended suspension and for temporary driving permits to law enforcement agencies.

Section 32-5A-304: Period of suspension; relation to Section 32-5A-191

(a) A driving privilege suspension shall become effective 45 days after the person has received a notice of intended suspension as provided in Section 32-5A-303, or is deemed to have received a notice of suspension by mail as provided in Section 32-5A-302 if no notice of intended suspension was served.

(b) The period of driving privilege suspension under this section shall be as follows:

(1) Ninety days if the driving record of a person shows no prior alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts during the immediately preceding five years.

(2) One year if the driving record of a person shows one prior alcohol or drug-related enforcement contact during the immediately preceding five years.

(3) Three years if the driving record of a person shows two or three alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts during the immediately preceding five years.

(4) Five years if the driving record of a person shows four or more alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts during the immediately preceding five years.

(5) For purposes of this section, “alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts” shall include any suspension under this article, any suspension or revocation entered in this or any other state for a refusal to submit to chemical testing under an implied consent law, and any conviction in this or any other state for a violation which involves driving a motor vehicle while having an unlawful percent of alcohol in the blood, or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or alcohol and drugs except that no more than one alcohol or drug-related contact on any one DUI arrest may be considered by the department in determining the period of suspension.

(c) If a license is suspended under this section for having .08 or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person and the person is also convicted on criminal charges arising out of the same occurrence for a violation of Section 32-5A-191, the suspension under this section shall be imposed, but no period of suspension or revocation shall be imposed under Section 32-5A-191. If a license is suspended under this section for having .08 or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person and the criminal charge against the person for violation of Section 32-5A-191 is dismissed, nolle prossed, or the person is acquitted of the charge, the director shall rescind the suspension order and remove the administrative suspension from the person’s driving record.

Section 32-5A-305: Minimum periods of suspension; reinstatement

(a) The periods of suspension specified by Section 32-5A-304 are intended to be minimum periods of suspension for the described conduct. No driving privilege shall be restored under any circumstances and no license of any classification shall be issued during the suspension period, except as provided pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 32-5A-304.

(b) No driving privilege may be restored until all applicable reinstatement fees have been paid.

Section 32-5A-306: Administrative review

(a) Any person who has received a notice of suspension or a notice of intended suspension under this article may request an administrative review. The request may be accompanied by a sworn statement or statements and any other relevant evidence which the person wants the director, or his or her agent, to consider in reviewing the determination made pursuant to Sections 32-5A-300 and 32-5A-302.

(b) When a request for an administrative review is made, the director, or his or her agent, shall review the determination made pursuant to Sections 32-5A-300 and 32-5A-302. In the review, the director, or his or her agent, shall give consideration to any relevant sworn statement or other evidence accompanying the request for the review, and to the sworn statement of the law enforcement officer required by Section 32-5A-301. If the director, or his or her agent, determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the person drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood, or the person refused the test, the director, or his or her agent, shall sustain the order of suspension or suspend the driver license or driving privilege of the person if no order of suspension has been issued. If the evidence does not support such a determination, the director, or his or her agent, shall rescind the order of suspension or take no suspension action if an order of suspension has not been issued. The determination by the director, or his or her agent, upon administrative review is final unless a hearing is requested under Section 32-5A-307.

(c) The director, or his or her agent, shall make a determination upon administrative review prior to the effective date of the suspension order if the request for review is received by the department within 10 days following service of the notice of intended suspension. Where the request for administrative review is received by the department more than 10 days following service of the notice of intended suspension, the director, or his or her agent, shall make the determination within 30 days following the receipt of the request for review.

(d) A request for administrative review shall not stay the driving privilege suspension or revocation. If the director, or his or her agent, is unable to make a determination within the time limits specified in subsection (c), the director or agent shall stay the suspension pending the determination.

(e) The request for administrative review shall be in writing and may be made by mail or in person to the Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division, Montgomery, Alabama. A person may request an administrative review at any time within 90 days of the notice of suspension under Section 32-5A-302 or the notice of intended suspension under Section 32-5A-303.

(f) A person may request and be granted a hearing under Section 32-5A-307 without first requesting administrative review under this section. An administrative review is not available after a hearing is held.

Section 32-5A-307: Administrative hearing

(a) Any person who has received a notice of intended suspension pursuant to Section 32-5A-303 or a notice of suspension pursuant to Section 32-5A-302 where no notice of intended suspension was served may request an administrative hearing. A request for an administrative hearing shall be in writing and shall be hand delivered or mailed to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division, in Montgomery, Alabama. The request shall be received by the department or be mailed and postmarked within 10 days of the notice of intended suspension issued pursuant to Section 32-5A-303 or the notice of suspension issued pursuant to Section 32-5A-302 where no notice of intended suspension was served. Failure to request an administrative hearing within 10 days shall constitute a waiver of the person’s right to an administrative hearing and judicial review under this article. If the driver’s license of the person has not been previously surrendered, it shall be surrendered at the hearing. A request for a hearing shall not stay the driving privilege suspension.

(b) The hearing shall be scheduled to be held as quickly as practicable and not more than 30 days after the filing of the request for a hearing. The hearing shall be held at a location designated by the director unless the parties agree to a different location. The department shall provide a written notice of the time and place of the hearing to the party requesting the hearing at least five days prior to the scheduled hearing, unless the parties agree to waive this requirement.

(c) The hearing shall be before the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent. Upon the hearing, the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent may administer oaths and may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant books and papers and may require a re-examination of the licensee. Upon the hearing, the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent shall make a final determination which either rescinds the order of suspension or, for good cause appearing, continues, modifies, or extends the suspension of the licensee. If the hearing is conducted by a duly authorized agent instead of by the Director of Public Safety personally, the determination of the department shall not be final until approved by the Director of Public Safety.

(d) The sole issues at the hearing shall be whether by a preponderance of the evidence the person drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood, or whether the person refused a test as provided in Section 32-5-192.

(e) The decision of the director shall be rendered in writing, and shall be mailed to the person who requested the hearing at their last known address on file with the department.

(f) If the person who requested the hearing fails to appear without just cause, the right to a hearing shall be waived.

(g) The procedures set forth in this article shall be the sole and exclusive manner to determine the administration of this article. The Alabama Administrative Procedure Act in Sections 41-22-1 to 41-22-27, inclusive, shall not apply.

Section 32-5A-308: Judicial review

Within 30 days of the issuance of the final determination of the department following a hearing under Section 32-5A-307, a person aggrieved by the determination shall have the right to file a petition in the circuit court of the county where the arrest was made for judicial review. The appeal shall be taken by serving written notice of the appeal upon the director, which service shall be made by delivering a copy of the notice to the director in Montgomery, Alabama, and filing the original thereof with the clerk of the court to which the appeal is taken. The court shall set the matter for hearing upon 30 days’ written notice to the director. At the hearing, the court may take testimony and examine the facts of the case. After the hearing, the court may either reverse or sustain the final determination of the department. The filing of a petition for judicial review shall not stay the suspension order.

Section 32-5A-330: Possessing Open Container definitions; applicability; violations

(a) As used in this section, the following terms are defined:

(1) OPEN CONTAINER. A container which is other than in the manufacturer’s sealed condition.

(2) PUBLIC HIGHWAY or RIGHT-OF-WAY OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. The entire width between and immediately adjacent to the boundary lines of any public road, street, highway, interstate, or other publicly maintained way when any part is open to the use of the public for purposes of motor vehicle travel.

(b) It is unlawful for a person to have in his or her possession alcoholic beverages in an open container in the passenger area of a motor vehicle of any kind on a public highway or right-of-way of a public highway of this state.

(c) This section shall not apply to:

(1) A passenger of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or primarily used for the transportation of persons for compensation and the driver holds a valid commercial driver’s license.

(2) A passenger of a bus for which the driver holds a valid commercial driver’s license.

(3) A passenger of a motorized or non-motorized self-contained camper, motor home, house coach, or house trailer.

(4) A motor vehicle trunk, storage, or luggage compartment or a truck bed, storage, or cargo compartment.

(5) A locked case placed in an area that is not readily accessible behind the front seat of a pickup truck which has no trunk or separate enclosed area other than the cab of the truck.

(6) A driver who does not have knowledge of and cannot access alcoholic beverages in an open container in the passenger area of the vehicle.

(7) A motor vehicle which is parked or idle and does not have the engine running. This does not apply to the right-of-way of a public highway.

(d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the transporting of alcoholic beverages in closed containers.

(e) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars ($25), and court costs shall not be assessed.

(f) The penalties provided for violation of this section shall not constitute a moving violation and shall not have any effect on the driver’s license points.

Additional Alabama DUI Resources

Alabama DUI Classes – We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI & alcohol abuse classes.
Alabama DUI First Offense – First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
Alabama DUI Second Offense – Second offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
Alabama DUI Third Offense – Third offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
Alabama DUI Fourth Offense – Fourth or subsequent offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and more.
Alabama DUI Laws – Here you will find a comprehensive and detailed explanation of Alabama’s DUI laws including all offense levels and penalties.
Alabama SR22 Insurance – We have compiled everything you need to know about Alabama’s SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

Back To Top