Alabama laws prohibit driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance. You may face a DUI conviction if you have a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08% or are under the influence of any impairing substance to the point that you are incapable of safely operating a vehicle.

What does “actual physical control” mean?

 Alabama Code § 32-5A-191 makes it clear that you do not need to be actively driving in order to face DUI charges. This means it is possible for the police to arrest you for being under the influence in a stationary motor vehicle as long as you have the ability and power to operate, park or move the vehicle.

What are the penalties?

 The consequences of a DUI charge vary depending on the circumstances. Here are the possible punishments for a first-offense DUI in Alabama with a BAC between .08% and .14%:

  • A maximum jail sentence of one year.
  • Fines between $600 and $2,100.
  • A 90-day driver’s license suspension.
  • Attendance of substance abuse or DUI program.

However, these penalties may differ. For example, you may be able to elect to install an ignition interlock device for six months instead of having a license suspension.

Can you refuse a breath or chemical test?

 Alabama is an “implied consent” state, meaning that if an officer lawfully arrests you for a DUI, you must submit to a breath, blood or urine test. If you refuse such a test, your license will be immediately suspended.

The information in this post is solely for educational purposes and does not count as legal advice.