DUI Laws in Alabama

Learn the facts and penalties about DUI in Alabama.

In Alabama, you can get a DUI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. However, a driver can also get a DUI for driving while impaired “to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving” as the result of ingesting alcohol or drugs, or any combination of these. And the law in Alabama says that if you're driving a vehicle, you've given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Alabama and other details about Alabama DUI law.

In Alabama, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Alabama, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

90 day suspension of license

1 year suspension of license

1 year suspension of license

When must officers measure your BAC in Alabama?

In Alabama, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Alabama?

In Alabama, the maximum BAC for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%. For persons under 21 with a BAC between .02% and .08%, the penalty is a 30 day license suspension.

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Alabama?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Alabama, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum required jail term

5 days jail or 30 days community service

60 days jail

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Alabama?

In Alabama, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for five years.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Alabama?

In Alabama, it's possible for someone charged with driving under the influence to plea bargain for a lesser charge. When such a plea deal is for a reckless driving charge, it's sometimes called a "wet reckless."

(Read more about plea bargaining in Alabama DUI cases and the consequences of a reckless driving conviction in Alabama.)

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in Alabama?

No.

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in Alabama?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Alabama DUI attorneys in your area.

For more information about the legal limit, see the Blood Alcohol Level Chart

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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