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DUI charges could result in serious consequences if a conviction is handed out. These consequences could be served in the form of a prison sentence, probation, and difficulty in securing a job. However, you can increase your chances of succeeding in your DUI case by engaging the services of an accomplished attorney. A Lawrence County DUI lawyer with sufficient experience in handling such cases.

What are the DUI Laws in Lawrence County?

DUI laws in Alabama are defined in an elaborate manner. Police officers can charge someone with Driving under the Influence (DUI) if they have reason to believe that the accused was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle while:

  • under the influence of alcohol
  • having .08% or greater of alcohol in their blood
  • under the influence of a controlled substance
  • under the influence of any substance which impairs physical or mental faculties
  • under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance

Defining a DUI Charge

Being charged with a DUI does not mean a conviction. A lot of people wrongly believe that a DUI charge can apply only when driving a vehicle. In reality, merely being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle is sufficient to be charged with a DUI.

A common definition of actual physical control is the exclusive physical power and present ability to move, operate, park or direct any kind of use or non-use of a motor vehicle at a particular time. For example, an individual who satisfies one of the above criteria and who has fallen asleep inside the car or is just sitting in a motor vehicle can be guilty of DUI.

When Higher Standards Apply

On certain occasions, people may be held to a higher standard in a DUI case. In order to dissuade underage drinking, someone below the age of 21 must not be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while their blood alcohol level is .02% or higher.

Similarly, if an underage individual is convicted or found guilty of DUI while their blood alcohol level ranged between .02% and .08% on a first offense DUI, their driver’s license can be suspended for a minimum of 30 days apart from other penalties levied by the court. If the blood alcohol content of the underage person was more than .08%, the punishment would be more severe.

Also, an individual who operates daycare transport or a school bus is prohibited from driving when they have .02% or more of alcohol by weight in their blood. When such a vehicle driver is convicted, their driver’s license can be suspended for at least one year, besides the imposition of other penalties.

Under Alabama law, the minimum punishment for a DUI conviction doubles if the individual who was convicted was aged over 21 at the time they were stopped and had someone below the age of 14 in the vehicle.

A 10-Day Countdown

The police would take away your driver’s license if you were arrested for a DUI in Alabama. If this happens, you have only 10 days to seek a hearing to make an attempt to stop the suspension of your Alabama driver’s license.

However, if you declined to take the breath test after your arrest or the police officer claims you refused it or if the test indicated an alcohol level of .08% or more, then your driver’s license can be automatically taken and will be subject to suspension or revocation for 90 days to five years.

Consult a Successful Lawrence County DUI Attorney

In the event of a DUI accusation, it is important to remain calm and not answer any questions without proper legal representation. It is highly recommended to work with an attorney to review your case before communicating with law enforcement. A prudent and established Lawrence County DUI lawyer with substantial legal experience in this area can help you, or someone close to you, defend your rights in case you have been charged with a DUI.