What Are Some Alternative Punishments To Jail For A DUI Conviction?

Community service and probation are alternative punishments. In Alabama, a second time DUI would be punishable by a minimum of 5 days in jail, but a judge would probate that and send the person for 240 hours of community service, which would be a lot of community service. Things like community service, probation, alcohol classes, and defensive driving school are not necessarily considered punishments, whereas the alcohol classes and defensive driving school would be an alternative requirement to complete in lieu of jail time or potential jail time in many cases.

Is There Such A Thing As Drug Court In Alabama?

Yes.

What Is Drug Court?

The drug court obviously handles drug charges instead of DUI, although it would be similar to a deferred prosecution in a DUI case whereby the client would probably subject himself to community service and probably do some counseling or drug treatment type sessions. They would have to report back to court on a regular basis to make sure they were staying out of trouble, and they would probably be randomly monitored for drugs and alcohol. They would have to go through this for probably 6 to 12 months if they were having a DUI conviction processed in the court.

Part of the epidemic lately is that the general public thinks drug court and deferred prosecution are something they would be able to handle without the assistance of a lawyer, and although they might be able to do that in some instances, I would not advise going into court without a lawyer because the person would not understand what they were signing up for. They would not understand how long they may keep them in there and the court system generally does a poor job of explaining exactly what is going on to criminal defendants.

It is not out of maliciousness or anything like that, but it would simply be because they are such a large and vast system that it allows people who work in it to think that everybody on earth deals with criminal court everyday of their lives. For somebody who had never been charged with a crime before, it would be a massively confusing process when they showed up for court, so they should certainly try to have somebody there whose sole purpose it was to protect their rights and guide them through the system.

What Happens If Someone Does Not Successfully Complete One Of These Alternative Programs?

This could potentially end up in jail time, which is why the person should make sure they understood what they had signed up for. It could result in a conviction on their record that would then result in an additional license suspension, potentially the cancellation of their insurance and potentially the loss of their job. It would be critically important to complete these programs if someone entered into it and they should have their attorney with them to fully explain what they would actually be getting into.

Is Everyone Who Is Charged Or Convicted Of A DUI In Alabama Required To Have An Ignition Interlock Device?

This is a relatively new law in Alabama, and it is just now starting to take hold because judges and other state officials do not really know how to implement the ignition interlock device, even though it has been around for a few years. The ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer machine that is installed into the car and will not allow the car to run until the driver blew in it and registered no alcohol in their system.

The legislator in Alabama hastily passed the law regarding the ignition interlock because they felt like it made the public safer and made Alabama seem tougher on DUIs, although they did not really do much planning on how it was actually going to be implemented, what companies were going to manufacture these devices, who was going to install them, who was going to get paid to maintain them, and all of the things that go along with passing such a law.

It is still really new in Alabama and it is just now starting to take hold so not everybody who is convicted would be required to have an ignition interlock device. There are certain instances where someone charged with DUI may request to have an ignition interlock device installed because it might reduce or eliminate the period of driver’s license suspension.

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