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Penalties Increased Under New Alabama DUI Laws

In September of 2011 one of the two new acts amending Alabama’s DUI laws went into effect. This amendment to the law requires a mandatory sentence of at least double the minimum punishment for a person convicted of DUI who has .15 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood while operating or being in control of a motor vehicle and a minimum one-year revocation of the person’s driving privileges. In addition the amendment provides that if a person over 21 has a child under 14 in the vehicle during the offense, the person must be sentenced to at least double the otherwise applicable minimum punishment.

The other amendment, set to be implemented in September of 2012, will increase the penalties for violations of Alabama’s DUI law by requiring certain persons authorized to drive a motor vehicle after a conviction of driving under the influence to have installed and operating an ignition interlock device for certain periods of time. It will also provide penalties for violations of this interlock requirement, which could also become separate criminal acts. A person requiring an ignition interlock device will have to obtain a restricted driver license and will have to pay certain fees and penalties to the state. Additionally, this amendment provides for the suspension of driving privileges for any vehicle operator who has .15 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood or for any operator who refuses to comply with the breath-alcohol diagnostic test.

Once this second act is implemented in 2012, both new DUI acts will be in full force in Alabama. These changes apply whether or not this is your first or subsequent DUI charge.

If you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it is important to contact an attorney to discuss your rights. Please call us today at (251) 945-5300 to speak with one of our attorneys about your DUI case.

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