A second DUI (driving under the influence) conviction is a misdemeanor in Alabama. A DUI is considered a second offense if the driver has one prior DUI that occurred within the last ten years, including out-of-state convictions. Second offenders face possible jail time, fines, probation, and license suspension. This article discusses the specific penalties you'll face if convicted of a second DUI in Alabama.
Alabama law sets the minimum and maximum penalties for a second DUI. However, if the current DUI involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% (find out how many drinks it might take) or more or the driver had a passenger who was under the age of 14, the minimum penalties must be at least doubled by the judge.
Jail time. Anyone convicted of a second-offense DUI is looking at a maximum of one year in jail. The judge must sentence the defendant to the full year if the offense involved a BAC of at least .15%. However, a judge who finds it appropriate can partially stay the sentence or order probation instead of the full sentence, provided the sentence includes at least five days in jail or 30 days of community service. Probation generally lasts one year and requires the person to abide by certain restrictions. Violating a condition of probation can result in jail time.
Treatment. All motorists convicted of a second DUI in Alabama must complete a substance abuse evaluation and follow all recommendations. The program a motorist must complete depends on the discretion of the court and the report of the evaluator.
Fines. A person who's convicted of a second DUI also faces fines of $1,100 to $5,100, plus court costs.
The court reports all DUI convictions to the State Law Enforcement Agency. For most second-offense DUIs, the Agency will revoke the driver's license for one year, followed by an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement of two years. However, the motorist can shorten the revocation period by opting to install the IID after completing 45 days of the revocation. Successful usage of the IID for two years will negate the one-year revocation requirement.
However, drivers who refused BAC testing or had a BAC of .15% or more are subject to increased penalties. These drivers must serve the two-year revocation and complete a two-tot-three-year IID requirement. The driver can petition the court for a restricted IID license after the initial 45 days of the revocation.
The driver must also complete any court-ordered treatment and substance abuse counseling before being eligible for license reinstatement.
If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Alabama, talk to a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The consequences of a DUI are serious, especially if you have prior convictions. A qualified DUI attorney can tell you how the law applies to your case and help you decide on how best to handle your situation.