A third DUI in Alabama is considered a misdemeanor. Note that the look back period in Alabama is 5 years, which means that you can expect to face severe penalties when charged with drunk driving a third time during that period. Mandatory jail time and costly fines are just some of the punishments that will be imposed.
Jail time of 60 days is mandatory after a third DUI in Alabama, though you may be forced to serve time for up to one year. Unlike with a second offense, you cannot typically get out of serving jail time for your third offense by doing community service. Therefore, plan for at least two months in jail, with the possibility of more time if you either have a lengthy criminal record, or choose to go without a lawyer.
Fines are also par for the course with a third DUI in Alabama. The minimum you can expect to pay is $2,000, though some people are forced to pay up to $10,000. In addition, you need to make a $100 payment to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund, along with any court costs involved in your case.
Administrative Consequences for Third DUI in Alabama
One of the most cumbersome penalties is the revocation of your license for three years. Do not expect to be able to get a limited license to drive to work or school, as this is only available to first time offenders. Once the three years is up, you will have to show proof of an SR22 insurance policy for Alabama, which is more expensive coverage.
The court will order you to complete either a substance abuse program, or a DUI course. Be prepared to pay for these required penalties, as well. You will also be subject to an alcohol evaluation after a third DUI in Alabama.
Consider Your Legal Options
If you have evidence that the police officers involved did not use the correct procedures during the arrest, you can plead not guilty and go to court to prove your case. If, however, there is plenty of evidence to convict you, it may be best to plead guilty, and plea bargain in order to receive less severe consequences. Note that while pleading guilty in order to get deferred prosecution may be an option in this state, each DUI offense makes you less likely to qualify. Talk to a lawyer today to determine your best move.