Birmingham DUI/DWI Attorney
Quality and Reliable Defense in Vestavia Hills
Most DUI arrests begin with a traffic stop after a few post-work drinks or a night on the town with friends. While an officer may begin with unassuming questions about how many drinks you’ve had, your answers may lead to a field sobriety test that could lead to arrest. In this situation, it is critical that you contact a Birmingham DUI/DWI lawyer to defense against your charge. Do not wait until your court date to hire a DUI attorney; Ingram Law, LLC can help you immediately.
When you work with Ingram Law, LLC, you can expect Attorney Joseph A. Ingram to help you through this overwhelming and often confusing experience. My firm fights hard for individuals who have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), going above and beyond to help them achieve favorable results. Ingram Law, LLC handles cases involving allegations of DWI or driving under the influence (DUI), from mere chemical test refusals to serious accidents.
What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence?
Alabama prohibits anyone from driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle if they:
- have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more; or
- are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any impairing substance to a degree that renders them incapable of safely driving a vehicle.
Be aware that the BAC threshold is reduced to .04% if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle, and it’s unlawful for drivers who are under 21 years old to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02% or more. A drunk driving offense based on BAC is commonly known as a “per se” DUI. In Alabama, though, note that a motorist can still be charged with a DUI even without actually driving or having the car in motion.
What is Alabama’s Implied Consent Law?
Alabama’s “implied consent” laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. Note that a driver is required to test only if they have been lawfully arrested for DUI, and the officer must have reasonable grounds to believe so in order to request a test. In any case, if the driver was placed under lawful arrest and refused to submit to the officer’s request for a test, their license will be immediately suspended for 90 days. This increases to 1 year if the person has refused testing within the last 5 years.
Field Sobriety Tests
There are a number of field sobriety tests an officer can administer, such as:
- “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test
- The Walk and Turn (WAT) test
- The One Leg Stand (OLS) test
Note that the test refusal suspension is separate from the criminal conviction and may be imposed even if the criminal charges are dismissed. Additionally, refusal of a requested chemical test may be used against the accused at trial as possible evidence of an unlawfully high BAC they are trying to hide.
Drivers who refuse testing are also required to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs), and the time period the driver must have the IID is longer than for non-refusal cases. For instance, a driver convicted of a first-offense DUI who wouldn’t normally be subject to a mandatory IID requirement will be subject to a 2-year IID requirement if they refused testing.
What are the Penalties for DWI?
The penalties for DWI can be a combination of jail time and fines, depending on the number of prior offenses. The sentencing is as follows:
- First Offense – up to 1 year in jail; $600-$2,100 in fines; 90 days of license suspension; IID for 6 months (2 years with BAC of .15% or more, passenger under age 14, injury accident, or BAC test refusal)
- Second Offense – 5 days to 1 year in jail; $1,100-$5,100 in fines; 1-year license revocation; IID for 2 years (4 years with BAC of .15% or more or BAC test refusal)
- Third Offense – 60 days to 1 year in jail; $2,100-$10,100 in fines; 3-year license revocation; IID for 3 years (6 years with BAC of .15 or more or BAC test refusal)
Note that offenders under 21 years old aren’t subject to the same exact penalties above, but they will likely only incur a 30-day license suspension and substance abuse treatment.
Defending Against DWI Charges
Common defenses against DUI charges are arguing:
- not under the influence of alcohol or drugs (medical condition that produced the same effect);
- challenge test results that are unreliable;
- simply poor or reckless driving;
- unlawfully arrested;
- police failed to follow proper procedures (inadmissible evidence).
Let an Experienced Lawyer Defend You in Vestavia Hills
In Alabama, a DUI conviction will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life; they cannot be expunged. However, a DUI will only stay on your driver's record for 5 years, meaning a second DUI conviction after 5 years could be treated as a first-time DUI. No matter the circumstances of your situation, Ingram Law, LLC can fight to reduce the consequences you may face for conviction.
Attorney Ingram is a Former District Attorney and has a successful track record.
We are here for you. Attorney Ingram will travel to you.
Attorney Ingram is a proven trial attorney with years of experience.
We are always available to take your call. Contact us 24/7.