Gulf Shores DUI Lawyer
One of the worst experiences a driver can have is to suddenly see the flash of blue lights behind them, accompanied by the sounds of a siren, signaling them to pull over.
Even if you know you have not done anything wrong, most drivers find this an intimidating experience – an experience that can turn into a nightmare if you suddenly you are being handcuffed and accused of driving under the influence. This is when the services of a Gulf Shores DUI lawyer will be critical to both build you a strong defense and ensure that you know what to expect at each step of the legal process.
In Alabama, a person can be arrested for drunk driving under the following circumstances:
- They have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more
- They have a BAC of 0.04 percent or more and are driving a commercial vehicle
- They have a BAC of 0.02 percent or more and are under the age of 21
If a person has been arrested for driving under the influence in Alabama, not only do they face criminal charges, they also face administrative penalties regarding their driver’s license. This makes it even more imperative that a DUI attorney in Gulf Shores is contacted.
Alabama Department of Public Safety
The Alabama Department of Public Safety (a division of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency) oversees all issues regarding driver licenses. As soon as a person is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the DPS automatically suspends their driving privileges, even before the disposition of any criminal charges they are facing.
These penalties are separate from criminal penalties they may receive if convicted. The DPS has the authority to suspend or revoke a person’s driving privileges for drunk driving under the following circumstances:
- Refusal to take a chemical test – Under Alabama Code § 32-5A-192, there is an implied consent by all drivers that accepting permission for a license to drive, you are agreeing to submit to chemical testing. Refusing to submit to testing on a first offense is a loss of license for 90 days. Second and subsequent offenses is a loss of one year. Even if the officer who stopped you on suspicion of drunk driving does not end up charging you, the DPS will still suspend your license if you refused to take a chemical test
- A first offense DUI arrest – license revoked for 90 days
- A second offense DUI arrest – license revoked for one year
- A third offense DUI arrest – license revoked for three years
- A fourth or subsequent DUI arrest – license revoked for five years
Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system device in your vehicle will also result from refusing to provide a breath test, a breath test of 0.15 or higher, a child under 14 in the car or an accident with injury.
Under Alabama law, a person has a right to an administrative hearing. They should not attempt to fight these charges themselves. Administrative charges can be more difficult to fight than criminal charges so it is important to have a Gulf Shores DUI lawyer advocating for them.
The second phase of a drunk driving arrest is the criminal case against a person where a prosecutor will attempt to prove to the court that they were driving under the influence. If found guilty, they face the following penalties:
- First offense – license revoked for 90 days and required to attend the state’s DUI school, a fine of between $500 to $2,000 (and an additional $100 for the Alabama’s Impaired Drivers Trust Fund), up to one year in jail
- The first-time offender will also have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days unless an approved ignition interlock device is installed on the offender’s designated motor vehicle
- Second offense – license revoked for one year, a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000 (plus $100), minimum two days in jail up to one year or at least 20 days’ community service
- Third offense – license revoked for three years; a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 (plus $100), minimum 60 days in jail up to one year
- Fourth or subsequent offense – license revoked for five years, a fine of between $4,000 and $10,000, one to ten years in jail
How a DUI Attorney Can Help
Even if you think you are innocent of the charges against you, you need a DUI attorney to stand up for you against the prosecutor and against the state. A DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences. Contact experienced Gulf Shores DUI lawyers today.