Driving while intoxicated is a severe violation in the state of Alabama. Unfortunately, if you stand accused of drinking and driving, you could end up losing your driving privileges, paying a heavy fine and spending time behind bars.
Naturally, being accused of drunk driving can be unsettling and even embarrassing. You have the right to fight this charge in an effort to protect your reputation and your future.
What does the law in Alabama say about drunk driving?
For a first DUI conviction in Alabama, you can expect authorities to suspend or revoke your license for at least 90 days. The penalty increases to one year for a second offense and then three years for a third offense. In addition, you will have to undergo alcohol education and assessment and possibly treatment as well.
Meanwhile, for a fourth drunk driving conviction within a five-year period, you may end up going to prison for one to 10 years. In addition, you may be required to pay a fine of $4,000 to $10,000.
What does alcohol education in the state cover?
Alabama has numerous court referral programs across the state. These alcohol education programs highlight topics such as the impacts of specific substances on driving, as well as information regarding alcohol and drug abuse laws. As a participant in such programs, you may also learn about the importance of having a family support system in the event of alcohol abuse.
Your rights following a DUI arrest
If authorities arrest you for drunk driving, it is within your rights to proceed to trial to fight the criminal charge. At trial, the prosecution must prove every element of your charge beyond a reasonable doubt. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can determine whether law enforcement followed the correct procedures during your arrest.
Rather than going to trial, you may seek to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution. A plea deal might offer the benefit of leading to a lighter charge and therefore a more lenient sentence than what you may receive at trial if found guilty.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, calling a criminal defense attorney should be your first step. A lawyer can examine and attempt to refute the evidence that the prosecution intends to use to support your drunk driving charge. A criminal defense attorney's goal is to help you to achieve the best possible outcome given the circumstances surrounding your drunk driving case.