Alabama’s ​N​ew DUI ​L​aws ​E​ffective ​J​uly 1st 2014

The 2014 DUI Act went into effect on July 1, 2014.

Here are the primary changes in the law as they relate to DUI offenders:

I. Driver License Sanctions: The duration of suspension or revocation of driver license and driving privilege following conviction for DUI is substantially reduced if the convicted offender installs an approved interlock device

First Offense DUI – 32-5A-191(e)

a) With a Breath Test

Previous : 90 day suspension of driver license or privilege following conviction, unless previously suspended under provisions of the Alabama Administrative License Suspension Act. [See, A.G. Op. 2012-0011.]

New: The convicted offender can elect to install an ignition interlock device and maintain it for six months after obtaining an interlock restricted driver license from the Department of Public Safety, the entire 90 day period of suspension will be stayed.

b) Without a Breath Test (Test Refusal) or other ‘Aggravating Factor’

Previous: Mandatory interlock requirement for two years from date of conviction after the full 90 days of license suspension served.

New: The convicted offender must serve a minimum of 45 days of license suspension following conviction before they are eligible to install an interlock device and receive an interlock restricted driver license. After 45 days of license suspension, and upon proof of installation of an approved interlock device, the remainder of the 90 day period of suspension is stayed. Any remaining period not served is commuted after successful completion of the two year interlock requirement.

Get your questions answered - call us for your free, 20 min phone consultation (205) 871-9990

 
Second Offense DUI – 32-5A-191(f)

Previous: For a second DUI offense within a five year period, the person so convicted was required to have an ignition interlock device installed for a period of two years from the date of driver license re-issuance. Ordinarily, a second offense DUI requires the Director to impose a one year license revocation order. The full period of license revocation had to be served before the DUI offender was eligible for re-licensing. The requirement to install an ignition interlock after second offense DUI conviction was not contingent on any enumerated factor, such as outlined in sub-section (e).

New: The mandatory two-year interlock requirement is maintained, but the one year revocation order is amended. Under the terms of Act 2014-222, the convicted offender after serving 45 days of license revocation is then eligible to elect to install an interlock device and forego the remainder of the one year revocation period. [Practitioner’s Note: The 2014 revision to Code section 32-5A-191 does not eliminate the requirement to post SR-22 certificate of insurance and maintain SR-22 insurance on file with the Department of Public Safety for a period of three (3) years from the date the revocation order in order to obtain a valid driver license. See, Code section 32-7-31. However, if the convicted offender was previously suspended under the Administrative License Suspension Act, then after serving 45 days of suspension, the offender is then eligible for an interlock restricted driver license without the SR-22 insurance requirement.] Upon proof that the interlock has been installed and the offender has obtained an interlock restricted driver license, the remainder of the one-year revocation order entered under Code section 32-5A-191(f), or suspension order entered under Code section 32-5A-304, whichever is applicable, is stayed and any remaining revocation or suspension period not served will be commuted upon completion of the two year interlock requirement.

Third Offense DUI – 32-5A-191(g)

Previous: For a third DUI offense within a five year period, the convicted offender was required to have an ignition interlock installed on a designated vehicle for a period of three years from the date of driver license re-issuance. [Note: The mandatory revocation period for third offense DUI – without reference to the “five year look-back” period – is a three year revocation order.] Under the previous statute, the convicted offender was required to serve the entire three year period of revocation before eligibility for re-licensing. [Practitioner’s Note: After third offense DUI within a five year period, or fourth offense within a ten year period, the Department of Public Safety requires an ‘interview and Investigation’ (or ‘I&I’) as a condition precedent to re-licensing. See, Code of Alabama, 1975, section 32-6-7(4).]

New: The mandatory three-year interlock requirement remains, but the mandatory removal of driver license is reduced to 180 days of license revocation or suspension, whichever is applicable, if an approved interlock device is installed. If the convicted offender installs an interlock device, then the remainder of the three year license removal order is held in abeyance. Any remaining time not served will be commuted upon successful completion of the three year interlock period.

Fourth Offense DUI – 32-5A-191(h)

Previous: For a fourth offense DUI within a five year period, the convicted offender was required to have an ignition interlock installed for a period of five years from the date of driver license re-issuance.

New: The mandatory five year interlock requirement is maintained, but after one year of license revocation or suspension, whichever is applicable, the convicted offender can choose to install an approved ignition interlock device and forego the reminder of the five year license removal order. Upon proof of successful installation of the interlock device and proof that the convicted offender has obtained am interlock restricted driver license, any remaining time not served is commuted upon successful completion of the required five year interlock period.

II. Dealing with the .15% Offender (first offense):

Previous: Under previous Code section 32-5A-191(i), a “first offense” DUI offender with a breath test result of 0.15% or greater was required to be sentenced to “double minimum punishment” and the Director of Public Safety was required to revoke the driver license for a one year period.

New: The “double minimum punishment” provision remains in effect for mandatory fine and jail term (if applicable), but the driver license sanction of a one year revocation order is removed and replaced by the requirement that the first offense offender with a breath test result of 0.15% is now mandated to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for a period of two years.

Under terms of the new DUI statute, the convicted first offense DUI offender with a .15% or higher breath test is immediately eligible for re-licensing without the 45 day mandatory suspension required for breath test refusals or other ‘aggravating factors.’

Note : The “double minimum punishment” sanction applying to fines for first, second, third, and fourth offense remains in effect, as does the mandatory incarceration sanction for all second, third, and fourth offense DUI convictions where the conviction is predicated on a breath test result with a 0.15% BAC or greater. See, revised Code section 32-5A-191(i).

Get your questions answered - call us for your free, 20 min phone consultation (205) 871-9990