DUI In Alabama Fourth Offense
Although driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common crimes in the United States, it is also one of the most serious offenses an Alabama motorist can face—especially if you are a repeat offender. In fact, under state law, if you are convicted of a fourth DUI within a five-year period, the charge will be classified as a felony. As a result, the consequences of a fourth offense can be truly devastating.
Criminal Penalties Of A Fourth Offense
When it comes to driving under the influence, Alabama lawmakers have little sympathy for those who break the law. Habitual offenders—those who have one or more DUIs on their record—face particularly severe sentencing guidelines. The penalties for a fourth offense, for example, include a five-year license suspension, one to ten-year prison sentence, and up to $10,100 in fines. In addition, the judge may order you to complete a court-approved alcohol education program and/or install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle (a device that makes it impossible to operate your vehicle until you successfully perform a breathalyzer).
Once you’ve been convicted of a DUI, your offense will be permanently reflected on your criminal record. Unfortunately, this means that anyone who performs a routine background check will find out about your past indiscretion—and as you can probably guess, a criminal conviction can be a major deterrent for many employers and housing providers.
You can also expect to pay significantly more for auto insurance due to your history of drunk driving. In fact, it’s not uncommon for insurance providers to charge convicted DUI offenders two to three times more for coverage. Some companies may even refuse to insure you altogether.
Finally, because a fourth DUI offense is classified as a Class C felony, a conviction will result in the loss of many of your personal liberties. As a convicted felon, you will be unable to vote, purchase a firearm, and obtain a passport—and once these rights are revoked, you may never get them back.