In 2008, almost 12,000 people in the United States died in accidents where the driver had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher. In the state of Alabama, there are several criteria that can lead to a driver being charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) crime.
Like most states, having a BAC of .08 in Alabama will result in a DUI. However, just being under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance will lead to a DUI if the officer believes that the driver is no longer capable of safely driving. It is also illegal for any person under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC of .02 or above.
The punishment for a DUI in Alabama depends on the number of prior DUI convictions the driver has. The first DUI conviction can result in up to one year of imprisonment in municipal or county jail, though there is no minimum mandatory sentence. The driver can also be fined $500 – $2,000, with an additional $100 fine that is deposited in the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. There is also a mandatory 90-day suspension of the drivers license and enforced DUI school attendance.
As the number of DUI convictions accrue, the punishments increase in severity. After the fourth DUI conviction the driver faces a prison term of 1 to 10 years. The fine increases to a minimum of $4,000 to a maximum of $10,000. Finally, the drivers license will be revoked for 5 years.
DUI / DWI facts and statistics in Alabama
- In 2017, 27 out of the 268 driving fatalities due to DUI / DWI were driven by drivers under the age of 21
- In the same year, 42 out of the 7,194 offenders caught for DUI / DWI were under the age of 18
- In 2018, 18 out of the 246 driving fatalities due to DUI / DWI were driven by drivers under the age of 21
- In the same year, 26 out of the 6,391 offenders caught for DUI / DWI were under the age of 18
source: responsibility.org, fbi.gov
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