Persons facing a first DUI in Alabama are subject to both administrative and criminal penalties. While criminal statutes in Alabama mandate certain penalties in DUI cases, criminal sentencing primarily revolves around case-specific considerations. Additionally, case-specific events may include other criminal charges related to the DUI arrest, including enhanced or elevated penalties. However, unlike many states, Alabama does not explicitly mandate enhanced penalties in light of elevated BAC (blood alcohol content) at time of arrest. Having legal counsel involved from the outset of a first offense DUI case is highly advisable.
- Arrest carries mandatory license suspension of 90 days. Hearing concerning impending license suspension must be requested within ten (10) days following arrest with Alabama Department of Public Safety
- Refusal to submit, if applicable to a given DUI case, carries a mandatory license suspension of 90 days for first offense.
- Courts can mandate alcohol or substance abuse assessment, treatment, or screening.
- Vehicle confiscation and ignition interlock devices do not occur in first offense convictions.
- First offense is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one (1) year of incarceration, with no minimum period mandated. Most cases are resolved without further incarceration, after the initial arrest and booking.
- Fines applicable in first offense range from $600 to $1200, plus fines and fees incurred in completing any alternative sentence arrangement.
- Convictions remain on a person's record for five (5) years and may be used to influence sentencing for subsequent DUI convictions.
Getting Legal Help
For more information and insight into addressing a first time DUI offense in Alabama, it is strongly suggested you consult with an Alabama DUI attorney as soon as feasibly possible following arrest. A lawyer can first address the impending administrative penalties as well as work on criminal penalties, ideally in an attempt to obtain dismissal of charges or in negotiation of plea options.