Understanding Alabama DUI laws

Alabama DUI law

Each State in the United States is given the authority to write their own laws on Driving Under the Influence, or better known as DUI. Within this article, we will explore the different DUI laws within the specific State of Alabama, including penalties. To begin with, in the State of Alabama, all convicted DUI offenders are required to complete a DUI or Substance Abuse Court Referral Program. There is what is known as a "Lookback Period" where for a period of five years prior to the current DUI you are facing, any DUI's you may have are included in the relevancy of sentencing you currently facing. This is also known as a "washout" period.

What constitutes a high BAC for a DUI in Alabama?

  • Under 21: .02%
  • 21 or Older: .08%
  • Commercial: .04%

There is never an acceptable time to drink and drive, as your vision, responses, along with your mental capacity to make quick and important decisions and judgments, are severely hindered and not capable of bouncing back to what you are able to perform without alcohol in your system. Each person is different, and their tolerance level for alcohol is severely unpredictable making it impossible to say how many drinks are "normal" or not. This is what requires law enforcement to perform chemical testing on suspected DUI offenders. If you are pulled over and are requested to take a chemical test in order to determine your BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, Alabama has an implied consent law. This means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. For refusal to take the chemical test, the penalties are as follows:

  • First Offense: 90 day suspension of license
  • Second Offense: 1 year suspension of license
  • Third Offense: 1 year suspension of license 

What are the penalties within the Alabama DUI laws?

There are several penalties within the Alabama DUI law, and we will explore them in this section. Should you be pulled over and found to be guilty of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol within the boarders of the State of Alabama, the following will be the consequences you will be facing:

Penalty of Jail:

  • First Offense: none
  • Second Offense: 5 days
  • Third Offense: 60 days
  • Fourth Offense: 1 year

Penalty and Fines:

  • First Offense: $600 to $2,100
  • Second Offense: $1,000 to $5,100 
  • Third Offense: $2,100 to $10.000
  • Fourth Offense: $4,100 to $10,100

Penalty of License Suspension:

  • First Offense: 90 days
  • Second Offense: 1 year
  • Third Offense: 3 years
  • Fourth Offense: 5 years


It is important to note that laws often change, as well as their interpretation and application of them. Due to the fact that there are multiple jurisdictions within a State, and each may choose to enforce the laws in different ways, it will be very important to prepare for the unexpected. For this reason, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced and professional lawyer who is well versed in Alabama DUI laws and capable of giving you the direction you need for your specific case, along with being fully aware of the current laws pertaining to DUI. 

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Category: DUI and DWI