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Elements of a DUI Offense in Alabama

According to §32-5A-191, the charge of a DUI is based on the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver of the vehicle.  This section states the following:

(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while:

(1) There is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood;

(2) Under the influence of alcohol;

(3) Under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving;

(4) Under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving; or

(5) Under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of such person to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving.

Thus in Alabama, a driver can be arrested for DUI for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or greater.  However, this number will vary depending on the circumstances, for example if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle or if the driver is under legal drinking age of 21. Additionally, some states issue harsher penalties to those with extremely high BAC levels on arrest.  However, there is no such “enhanced penalty” amount in Alabama.  If a driver is found to have a BAC of 0.05 or below, Alabama law presumes that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol, and no charges typically will be filed.  If the driver’s BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08, this does not automatically mean the driver is guilty of a DUI, but the court will consider other evidence in the inquiry as to whether to convict the driver or not.

 


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