If you have recently been arrested for DUI in Alabama and are worried about your driving privileges, you have good reason. This is a state that takes a harsh view of DUI cases, and you can lose your right to drive before your case even goes to court.
What is important to understand about driver’s license suspensions in Alabama is that there are no second chances. Once your license is suspended, you can’t get a hardship permit as some other states allow. There are also time constraints for addressing a license suspension. If you miss a deadline, you won’t be able to drive even if your DUI case is dropped or you are found not guilty.
Two License Suspension Issues When You’re Arrested for DUI
Even with a first-time DUI arrest, you might be concerned about how to beat the DUI charges or have worries about your future. These are valid, and you should certainly speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible. But your driving privileges are also in immediate jeopardy.
You can have your license suspended at the time of arrest through an administrative license suspension. The state can also suspend or even revoke your license as part of a criminal case for DUI. In other words, if you are found guilty, license suspension is also a possibility.
Administrative License Suspension After DUI Arrest
The state can administratively suspend your license for up to 90 days even if you aren’t found guilty of DUI. This type of license suspension is triggered by two events: either you’ve refused the mandatory chemical test after your DUI arrest or you tested above the state’s legal limit.
Alabama is an implied consent state, meaning you agree to a chemical test upon suspicion of DUI if you drive on the roads. If you refuse to take a test upon arrest, you’ll be subject to additional penalties, and one of those is an immediate license suspension.
You’ll also have your license suspended if you take a blood alcohol test and the results show that you are above the state’s legal limit. In most cases this 0.08%, but it is just 0.02% for underage drinkers and 0.04% for a CDL driver.
If you were handed a yellow form (AST-60) and told that it would act as a temporary driver’s license, this is your first notification that you need to act fast. You have just 10 days from the date of your arrest to file an appeal with the Alabama Department of Public Safety. This is completely separate from your DUI case, but something that your DUI attorney can handle on your behalf.
What About License Suspension or Revocation for a DUI?
Aside from the administrative license suspension, which is something you may need to manage for 90 days, you can also have your license suspended or revoked by the courts. This wouldn’t be a likely outcome with a first-time DUI unless there were aggravating circumstances such as an elevated BAC, minor children in the vehicle, or an accident with injuries.
The state of Alabama does take a harsher view of second or subsequent DUIs. There is a five-year look-back period, which is used to gauge whether your last DUI will count in classifying the new one. When you are arrested for multiple DUIs, the penalties are greater, which includes a longer license suspension period.
A second DUI arrest will come with a one-year license suspension, a third DUI arrest will result in a three-year license suspension, and a fourth DUI arrest a five-year license suspension. This assumes that you will be convicted for these offenses, which is far from a given if you have strong legal representation in your corner.
Another consideration with DUI convictions and driving privileges is the possibility of an ignition interlock device (IID). The state could require that this be installed on your vehicle for various lengths of time, even from the first offense.
Speak with a Qualified Alabama DUI Attorney
Having to live without a driver’s license can be difficult and even terrifying. This is just one of the potential consequences of being arrested for DUI, but it can be much worse. A DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your future, which is why we recommend putting forth as vigorous a defense as possible.
At Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short, LLP, our knowledgeable and experienced DUI attorneys represent clients charged for DUI throughout the Opelika and Auburn area. We will aggressively defend your rights and freedom and begin working on your case immediately.
Contact us now at (334) 821-3892 to schedule an initial consultation.