Nov 2014

What to do if stopped for a DUI

So, you've been stopped by the police in Alabama on a suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). What to do? Submit to the breath test or not? While you may have heard different, the answer is an unequivocal "YES." On July 1, 2014, your Alabama Legislature passed a new DUI law which (again) increased penalties significantly. For example, on a first DUI conviction with a breath test refusal, there is a 90 day suspension starting 45 days after arrest, then 45 more suspension days after conviction in court, then 2 years of Ignition Interlock. This means you pay to have a breath test machine installed in your car in which to blow before it will start. It is estimated that the yearly cost of Ignition Interlock will be about $1100 a year.

Don't drink and drive but if you do, and you get stopped, submit to the breath test, be cordial and cooperative with the police and call me IMMEDIATELY upon release from jail. You have a 10 day window to appeal your administrative 90 day suspension and appeal any (inadvertent or mistaken) refusal issue.

There are certain ways to keep from having your license suspended and, in many cases, I can also keep you from getting convicted of DUI. Alabama does not have a "hardship driver license" so once they take it, you are going to depend on family, friends and colleagues to take you anywhere.

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