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Although driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is typically a misdemeanor offense, the penalties for a conviction can be extremely severe. Penalties may include jail time, fines, license suspension or revocation, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. Due to the potential severity of the sentence for drunk or drugged driving, getting the advice of a Trussville DUI lawyer may be helpful.

A seasoned criminal defense lawyer could evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest and ensure that your rights are protected. Getting legal representation in any DUI case could be essential to minimize the impact of a DUI charge on your life.

Driving Under the Influence in Trussville Defined

Under the Code of Alabama § 32-5A-191, driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, or DUI, occurs when people drive:

• Under the influence of alcohol, or have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more
• Under the influence of a drug, a combination of alcohol and drugs
• Under the influence any substance that makes them unable to safely drive

Drivers under the age of 21, as well as school bus or daycare drivers, are held to a different standard. These groups may commit DUI if their BAC is 0.02 percent or more, regardless of impairment. As the potential penalties for a DUI conviction are often serious, individuals should consider contacting a Trussville DUI lawyer for assistance.

Elevating Penalties for DUI Convictions in Trussville

A first-time conviction of driving under the influence is a misdemeanor, which may carry a sentence of incarceration of no more than one year, a fine ranging from $600 to $2,100, or both. Those convicted of a first-time DUI could face a 90-day license suspension, which can be stayed if the individuals install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles for no less than six months. Individuals also may have to complete a DUI or substance abuse court referral program.

A second conviction within five years is still a misdemeanor offense but could result in incarceration for up to one year, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five days or 30 days of community service. Fines may range from $1,100 to $5,100, with a license suspension period of one year, which can be stayed after 45 days by court order and proof of IID installation for two years.
A third DUI conviction may result in a jail sentence of up to one year, of which 60 days must be served, and/or a fine ranging from $2,100 to $10,100. These individuals also are subject to a three-year license revocation and a three-year mandatory IID installation.

Felony DUI Charges

For a fourth or subsequent drunk/drugged driving conviction, the offense becomes a felony. This may result in a prison sentence ranging from one year and one day to 10 years, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days. Fines may range from $4,100 to $10,100, license revocation for five years, and mandatory IID installation for five years, although the revocation may be stayed after one year. As the penalties for any driving under the influence conviction are potentially harsh, contacting a DUI attorney in Trussville as quickly as possible following a DUI arrest may be advisable.

Aggravating Circumstances in DUI Cases

There are certain aggravating circumstances that may enhance the penalties for a DUI conviction, even for a first-time offense. These circumstances include:

• Refusing a BAC test
• DUI with a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle
• Causing bodily injury to another
• BAC of 0.15 percent or more

Individuals are subject to a 90-day license suspension and a two-year mandatory installation of an IID in the presence of any of these circumstances. However, the suspension may be stayed by the court order after 45 days. For more information about DUI charges and the aggravating factors, call a knowledgeable lawyer.

Contact a Trussville DUI Attorney

Being arrested for DUI can be a scary and stressful experience. Working with an experienced Trussville DUI lawyer has the potential to make a difference in the outcome of your case. Reach out today to schedule an initial consultation and learn how an attorney could help protect your rights.