DUI Implied Consent In Alabama
Attention Alabama motorists: did you know that you are legally required to perform a breathalyzer or other chemical test if a law enforcement officer suspects you of driving under the influence (DUI)? Indeed, under the state’s Implied Consent Law, refusing to perform any type of chemical test will lead to your arrest and—in some cases—carry harsher penalties than failing.
Implied Consent: What It Is And How It Affects You
If you’re not familiar with Alabama’s Implied Consent Law, you’re not alone. Nevertheless, as a licensed driver, you are expected to abide by it. In simple terms, this law requires all motorists to submit to chemical testing (breath, blood, or urine tests) if they are ever suspected of driving under the influence. When you initially received your driver’s license, you agreed to comply with this requirement.
Penalties For Refusing A Chemical Test
So what happens if you refuse to take a chemical test? First and foremost, you can expect to be arrested and charged with DUI. The officer will also notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of your arrest, which will automatically trigger an administrative license suspension (ranging anywhere from 90 days to several years, depending on your prior record). Although you can appeal your suspension, you must request a hearing with the DMV in order to do so—and you have just ten days after your arrest to submit the request.
In addition to losing your license, you will also face a number of criminal penalties if you are convicted of violating the state’s Implied Consent Law. Assuming this is your first DUI, your sentence may also include a $600 to $2,100 fine and possible jail sentence—and if you are a repeat offender, a subsequent conviction will carry even harsher penalties.
Fortunately, with the right legal strategy, many drivers who are arrested for refusing a breathalyzer are able to get their charges reduced or dismissed in court. If, for example, the officer who arrested you failed to inform you of the state’s Implied Consent Law, as well as the consequences of refusing to perform the breathalyzer, your charges may be dismissed as a result.