Alabama DUI Lawyer
Have you recently been accused of DUI? You may not understand your rights and may be tempted to try to cooperate with the police and give them the information they are requesting. After all, being pulled over and then arrested for DUI is an unnerving experience that can make anyone feel anxious and uncomfortable. Knowing that you have resources available to you however in the form of an Alabama DUI lawyer can make a significant difference in your ability to fight back and avoid the criminal consequences of a DUI charge. DUI charges are serious.
Have you recently been accused of DUI?
A DWI or DUI in the state of Alabama occurs in any situation in which a person is accused of operating or is in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. This must also be done in conjunction with the fact that the mental faculties are impaired, making them a risk to others or that their blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. Even for a first offense, the penalties for an Alabama DUI may include fines, community service, suspension of your license, mandatory attendance of an approved alcohol program, the installation of a car ignition interlock device and mandatory overnight incarceration. If a conviction goes on your record, it can stay there forever if you are not familiar with your rights.
You need to know what is involved in fighting back with an Alabama DWI. In many of these cases, a person who has been accused of DUI in Alabama will want to know whether or not the results of a breathalyzer may have errors or could otherwise be called into question. A breathalyzer refers to a breath testing device that is used to identify a person’s breath alcohol content. There are two types of breathalyzers that police in Alabama use on those suspected of drunk driving; a preliminary breath testing device or an evidentiary breath testing device. Alabama often uses the BAC data master as their desktop or evidentiary breath testing device. If this machine has not been properly calibrated or is inappropriately used by the officer however, the results could be called into question.
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Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are another common issue of contention in an Alabama DUI allegation. These are tests that a police officer uses to identify whether or not there’s probable cause to arrest you for DWI or DUI. There are standardized field sobriety tests and non-standardized field sobriety tests. In almost all cases, a police officer will ask that you perform the standardized test because non-standardized tests are not as credible. Some examples of these include counting backwards or citing the alphabet or finger dexterity test.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, has developed these standard field sobriety tests. Your Alabama DUI lawyer can tell you more about whether or not the tests used in your individual situation could be called into question. The NHTSA field sobriety tests have specific instructions and elements of performance. These should be graded and instructed in the exact same manner that the testing procedure requires.
If you believe that a medical condition or other details in your case influenced the outcome of the field sobriety test or the breathalyzer, you need to share this information with your Alabama DUI lawyer as soon as possible. In many of these cases, the police officers will arrest you and take you in for further questioning and official testing. They may encourage you to provide as much information as possible about where you were that night and that your own interpretation of how much you’ve had to drink.
While it might seem like you are cooperating with the police and increasing your chances of being released, this is rarely the case because the police officers are doing everything possible to gather evidence that could ultimately be used against you. You should always request your right to speak to an experienced Alabama DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you want to avoid these risks associated with giving way too much information to the police.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alabama DUI
The primary difference in Alabama is the person’s age. An individual who is aged 21 and above cannot be convicted of a DUI and can only be charged with DWI. An element of DUI is that the person was under 21 at the time of the offense. A person under 21 could be charged with DWI or DUI depending on the specifics of the case.
You are eligible to refuse taking a breathalyzer test, however, there are various automatic consequences with refusing to take it. Alabama has an implied consent law which means that you must submit to an evidentiary breathalyzer test or you will have a driver’s license suspension as an automatic result.
A refusal to take a field sobriety test is not a violation for which a police officer can add a charge. However, police officers will rarely tell you that you can refuse to take these tests. Many people take the test because they want to show the police officer that they are not intoxicated or because they do not want the situation to escalate and to being accused of a DUI or DWI. It is very rare for a person to pass these tests, however, and you should always consult directly with an experienced Alabama DUI lawyer for further information.
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