Alabama Toughens DUI Penalties

Alabama Toughens DUI Penalties

As of July 9th of this month, Alabama’s laws regarding ignition interlock devices and repeat offenders have just become much tougher. A new law officially went into effect earlier this week, mandating that all second-time and subsequent DUI offenders must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This is a huge change from the law before.

The bill which instituted the change was sponsored by Republican State Senator Jim McClendon, and aimed to institute harsher punishments on repeat offenders in order to crack down and reduce their numbers. Alabama is widely known for having some of the most lax laws when it comes to DUI, and in fact it wasn’t until 2012 that the state began requiring IID installation for any DUI offenses at all. When the law was passed, IID installation was actually voluntary: it was possible for those convicted of a DUI offense to avoid having to install the device on their car by following certain steps or taking advantage of certain loopholes.

The new law closes these loopholes and makes IID installation mandatory for all repeat offenders. The new law also makes IID installation voluntary for all offenses with less than .15 percent blood alcohol content, but makes them mandatory beyond that. For repeat offenders, any result over .08 is considered an offense that would mandate IID installation.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer which is connected to the ignition system in your vehicle. The breathalyzer places a lock on the ignition and prevents the car from starting at all unless the driver first passes a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer can detect any traces of alcohol in a driver’s system, and they won’t allow a vehicle to start if they fail the test.

Once someone who is convicted of a DUI completes their mandatory license revocation period, they will be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to get their driving privileges back. Once the device is installed, tampering with them, circumventing them, or bypassing them in any way is prohibited and any violation extends the installation period for a minimum by six months.

Likewise, recording four or more breath samples that are above .02 in a month, or failing to comply with mandatory servicing or calibration that must be done every 30 days is also considered a violation.

How to Avoid an Ignition Interlock Device Requirement

If you’re facing your second or subsequent DUI offense, it’s strongly advised you reach out to a Birmingham DUI lawyer who can work with you to create an effective and hard-hitting DUI defense strategy. An attorney can work with you through the details of your case to determine if law enforcement made a mistake that jeopardizes the integrity of your case, or if your arrest may have in some way been unlawful. You shouldn’t face your prosecution alone when dealing with such a difficult and possibly life-changing situation.

Start fighting back against your charges today by calling Tidwell Law Group at (205) 800-8596 for a case evaluation!

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