Alabama courts are very serious about prosecuting defendants who have been charged with driving under the influence. State legislators have enhanced driving laws over the past two decades to make DUI one of the top priorities when it comes to prosecuting criminal behavior. The practice still continues, but those who are caught and convicted can count on stringent penalties when the court issues rulings.
The first level of punishment for a DUI conviction is the determination of a fine. State law sets the minimum at $600 even for a first-offense conviction, and those who are multiple offenders or involved in an accident while under the influence can expect even higher amounts upward to $2100.
While the state sets no minimum or mandatory incarceration requirement, the judge can sentence the defendant up to one year in a local jail under misdemeanor classification. Jail requirements are typically a combination of a short incarceration followed by probation for the remainder of a sentence.
Alcohol treatment evaluation
All Alabama drivers convicted of drunk driving are required to attend an alcoholic drivers assessment and education program. The programs provide information to those who have chosen to drink and drive regarding accident statistics and consequences for those who have been injured in accidents with drunk drivers.
Driving privilege suspension
The most long-term issue for many convicted of DUI is the driver’s license suspension period. There is an option in Alabama to forego the typical 90-day suspension for first offenders by having an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for 12 months at a minimum, but courts also have upward latitude with suspensions.
Of course, a DUI conviction also generates a criminal record as well. This could have an even further ongoing impact regarding denial of government benefits and future employment in some industries.