Alabama Driving Under Influence Laws

Driving under the influence is illegal in the state of Alabama. However, it is important to note that for a case to proceed the cop must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the driver was actually under the influence of substances such as alcohol and other drugs. Also, the officer has to prove that the arrested person had the actual physical control of the vehicle while under influence. Driving under influence is actually the most frequently tried traffic offense in the state of Alabama. This law dates back to its origin to 1980 when the ‘Driving while Intoxicated’ law was revised paving way to a more manageable and easily enforceable traffic law.

One can be charged if the arresting officer proves that the arrested person had the actual physical control of the vehicle while:

  • Under the influence of alcohol.
  • The alcohol levels in his/her blood are greater than .08%
  • Under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Under the influence of both alcohol and other controlled substances.
  • Under the influence of substances that impair actual physical control and mental normal human behavior.

Other Quick facts that you need to know about the Driving Under Influence Law and the concept of actual physical control:

  • Under the law one does not need to be driving the vehicle to be convicted. One may be found guilty even if one is sitting or sleeping in the motor vehicle but has the exclusive ability to move, park or start the car.
  • Certain individuals may be subjected to different degrees of the traffic rules than others. For example individuals under the age of 21 found guilty of drunk driving but with a blood alcohol level of below .08% may have their license suspended for a minimum of 30 days and any other punishment that may be imposed by the court of law. However, underage individuals with blood alcohol levels greater than .08% may face severe punishment.
  • Driving school vans or care vehicles must maintain an alcohol level of below .02% and, if convicted, in addition to other charges the driver’s license is suspended for a minimum of one year.
  • If charged for a second time with driving under influence five years after your first charge, one is sentenced within the first offenders range of punishment. However, if charged for the second DUI offense within the first five years of the initial sentence, one is considered a second time offender and punishable with imprisonment for 5 days or imprisonment for 365 days in a municipal or county jail.