Alabama teenagers are just like teenagers anywhere else in America, and teens tend to make stupid mistakes. Among those is learning the dangers of underage drinking. Teenagers sharing a six-pack in the basement may seem innocent enough but may turn dire as soon as one of those kids needs to get home.

Alabama takes driving under the influence (DUI) charges very seriously, especially underage charges. However, with reliable legal representation and an understanding of DUI law, families can minimize the damage of these charges.

The specifics of Alabama DUI law

DUI charges carry hefty weight in Alabama and can result in a loss of license, expensive fines and even jail time. Those convicted of four DUIs may spend up to 10 years in prison and incur fines of $10,000. Alabama complies with federal guidelines in determining the legal alcohol limit of 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). For minors, however, the limit is only 0.02 and comes with a zero-tolerance policy. Zero-tolerance means that any minor with alcohol in their system operating a motor vehicle will not get off easy.

If charged, Alabama’s use/lose laws take over. These rules mean that the law delivers mandatory punishment for underage drinking — there is very little room for negotiation. Penalties may include a 30-day license suspension and potential participation in substance abuse or driving education programs. Many courts also assign ignition lock devices on the cars of juvenile offenders.

Many states allow individuals to petition to seal DUI convictions to prevent compromising future job or loan applications, but not so for Alabama. There is no way to expunge any conviction — misdemeanor or felony — in Alabama.

Consult with a local attorney

Alabama takes DUIs very seriously, especially for minors. Though Alabama DUI laws are rigid, a comprehensive defense constructed with a local attorney familiar with fighting DUIs may help. Those with questions about their DUI charge can find answers working with a lawyer today.