If you are facing a drunk driving charge in Alabama, you may be looking at some serious consequences including jail time, steep fines, and the loss of driving privileges. A conviction for DUI can jeopardize future employment or compromise your chances of renting a place to live long after you have served your sentence and paid all required penalties. Fortunately, by partnering with a skilled Alabama drunk driving attorney, you stand a good chance of beating your charges and protecting your liberty and your rights. It is important that you call our office as soon as possible following an arrest.
DUI in Alabama
To qualify for a charge of drunk driving you have to have a BAC higher than .08% or under the influence of alcohol to the point you can not safely operate a vehicle. You do not necessarily have to fail the preliminary breath test to be arrested for drunk driving. An officer can choose to charge you with DUI if they have probable cause that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, even if the preliminary breath test says otherwise. Failing roadside sobriety tests or having slurred speech may serve as sufficient probable cause for an officer to arrest you. In most cases, an experienced Alabama DUI lawyer will advise that drivers, drunk or sober, refuse to participate in either any roadside sobriety tests or in the preliminary roadside breath test. These are voluntary tests and an arresting officer cannot require that you take them. In Alabama a refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test will result in an automatic suspension of your license for 90 days under Alabama’s implied consent law; however, having a suspended license reinstated by the DMV is a fairly inexpensive and simple process compared to a drunk driving conviction.
Breath & Roadside Sobriety Tests
Any evidence gathered via the preliminary breath test or roadside sobriety tests can be used presumptively against you in court. Failure of the roadside sobriety tests is purely subjective and may be due to any number of reasons besides driver intoxication, including poor agility, medical conditions, difficulty understanding the tests, and others. As for the preliminary breath test, the results are often incorrect due to poor calibration of the testing instrument or incorrect administration by the arresting officer. Passing either of these tests won’t help your legal situation, but failing either of them will certainly make it worse. As for the secondary Datamaster breath test you will be asked to take at the station, you are advised to call an Alabama DUI attorney before submitting to it. We can tell you whether agreeing to take the secondary BAC test is in your best interest. Unlike the results of the preliminary breath test, the results of a secondary breath test are generally admissible in court.
A successful first-time conviction for drunk driving could earn you a prison sentence of up to one year and fines of $2100. This is in addition to court fees and other costs associated with alcohol rehabilitation classes, license reinstatement, and so on. A DUI conviction can hurt your pocketbook and ruin your life. Don’t be fooled – you have nothing to gain by “cooperating” with law enforcement once you are detained or arrested. Invoke your right to remain silent, refuse all roadside tests, and use your one phone call to reach an aggressive drunk driving attorney to schedule a consultation. Don’t try to demonstrate your innocence to a jury by yourself. As a seasoned DUI attorney, I may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.