Alabama DUI Laws

Alabama DUI laws combine expensive fines with jail time and license suspension as a means of penalizing those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you can be fined up to $2,100 and may face up to one year in jail for your first offense. To find cheap DUI insurance in Alabama, enter your ZIP code below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2021

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Drinking and driving accounts for several thousand fatal car crashes each year throughout the United States. As a result, the state of Alabama takes a harsh stance on DUI offenders to provide incentive to avoid driving while drunk.

The Alabama DUI laws combine expensive fines with jail time and license suspension as a means of penalizing those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have gotten a DUI, your insurance could rise drastically!

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Alabama DUI Laws

The laws in Alabama are clear on what is tolerated and what is inappropriate while driving. Drivers the police pull over who are intoxicated or under the influence of another drug are subject to the DUI state laws. The main laws in Alabama concern legal blood alcohol content or BAC levels.

  • In Alabama, any driver who has a BAC of 0.08 percent is driving under the influence and subject to penalties.
  • Daycare or school bus drivers are held more strictly and cannot have a BAC that exceeds 0.02 percent due to the young passengers.
  • Commercial vehicle drivers are also held more strictly and the state limits their BAC levels to 0.04 percent before charging with a DUI.
  • Since it is illegal in the state of Alabama to drink before the age of 21, anyone younger than 21 who has a BAC of 0.02 or higher is also charged with a DUI offense.
  • Drugs differ slightly, particularly due to the fact that many drugs are prescriptions. In Alabama, driving under the influence of illegal drugs will result in a DUI offense. In the case of prescription drugs, the law only applies if the medication impairs your judgment, reaction time and driving abilities.
  • Operating a motor vehicle in Alabama does not always mean the vehicle is in motion. It is illegal to sit on the driver’s side of a vehicle while intoxicated, even if the vehicle is not started.

First Offense Penalties:

Drivers who are charged with a first DUI offense face a fine between $600 and $2,100 dollars, up to one year of jail time and a 90 day driver’s license suspension.

A drug and alcohol evaluation and testing is also performed. Most individuals will also end up in a treatment program.

Second Offense Penalties:

If a second offense occurs, convicted DUI offenders are fined between $1,100 and $5,100. All offenders face a minimum five jail sentence and might spend as much as one year in jail. The second offense also results in at least 30 days of community service in the state of Alabama. The driver’s license is suspended for one year.

Like the first offense, a second DUI requires a drug and alcohol assessment and potential treatment.

Third Offense Penalties:

The third convicted DUI in Alabama results in at least 60 days in jail and up to one year of imprisonment. All convicted DUI offenders with a third DUI charge are fined between $2,100 and $10,000. Upon release from prison, third offenders have their license suspended for three years.

A drug and alcohol evaluation is mandatory and treatment is a possibility.

Fourth Offense Penalties:

If a fourth DUI conviction occurs, drivers face harsh punishments in Alabama. The convict’s permanent record will show a class “C” felony and the driver is charged between $4,100 and $10,100. All fourth DUI offenders spend at least one year and one day in a state prison and might spend up to 10 years, depending on the situation.

Upon release from prison, a fourth DUI offense results in a license suspension for five years. The state also requires that any fourth DUI offender completes a state certified chemical dependency program.

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Injuries or Death

While driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a crash or accident is a possibility all drivers might face. Should injuries or a death occur due to drinking and driving, the punishment for the drunk driver is harsher than the basic DUI penalties.

A court will decide on an appropriate punishment for drunken driving that result in injuries or death. Since each situation differs, the punishments vary for each case.

Alabama Records

In the state of Alabama, driving records reflect the last five years. If a second DUI occurs more than five years after the first charge, it is charged as a first offense due to the records. While this holds true for most offenses, a fourth DUI is placed on a permanent record and is a criminal charge.

Alabama Car Insurance

After receiving a DUI conviction, a car insurance company in Alabama is within its rights to drop the offender from their insurance policy. If this occurs, drivers must find a new company willing to provide insurance. Many companies will refuse or remain hesitant to offer insurance after a DUI offense.

Any company that does not drop the driver or that takes on a driver with a DUI will charge high premiums for the insurance and cheap car insurance quotes will not be possible.

No convicted DUI offenders are allowed to drive without insurance in the state of Alabama. A driver’s license will remain suspended until proof of insurance is provided via a SR22 insurance form filled out by the insurance company and sent to the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles. If the DMV does not receive the form, it will not reissue a driver’s license.

If driver’s lapse in their SR22 insurance payments within 3 years of a conviction, the driver is subject to a license suspension and the insurance company must re-file the paperwork for the state DMV to reissue another license.

Breaking the Alabama DUI laws will result in harsh punishments such as heavy fines, jail time, community service and the loss of a driver’s license. All Alabama drivers must understand these laws and take measures to avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol that might impair judgment. If you find yourself any of these situations, it would be best to compare car insurance quotes! Enter your ZIP code into our FREE search and find the cheapest auto insurance  for FREE!

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