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In Alabama, driving implies your consent to a breathalyzer

After drinking, you enter your vehicle and attempt to drive. You commit a traffic violation, and an officer pulls you over and requests your participation in a field sobriety test. Worried they won’t pass the test without a DUI charge, many adults choose to refuse a breathalyzer.

Unfortunately, Alabama operates under implied consent when dealing with intoxicated drivers. Refusing to blow into a breathalyzer to determine your level of sobriety comes with serious charges – leaving you with the possibility of a DUI conviction and penalties for not submitting to a chemical test.

A double whammy

Under Alabama code, if you legally operate a vehicle with a driver’s license, you technically consent to a chemical test if an officer is suspicious of your driving. Implied consent laws aim to punish those that refuse a chemical test and persuade drunk drivers to agree to breathalyze.

If you are convicted of a DUI in court, your Alabama charges may include:

  • Jail time of up to 1 year
  • A $500 to $2000 fine
  • A $100 fine that goes to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
  • Mandatory 90-day license suspension
  • DUI school attendance

Discussing your alleged DUI with an experienced attorney may aid in lowering specific penalties, but refusing to submit to a breathalyzer at the scene may include additional charges.

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you may be subject to:

  • Mandatory 90-day license suspension

Alabama law then punishes drivers whom refuse a chemical test and prove to have driven while intoxicated. Your charges significantly increase, and you may be required to use an ignition interlock device.

Not all adult DUI circumstances prove the same. It is essential for you, if possible, to speak with an attorney at the scene to identify whether it is in your best interest to breathalyze. Yet understanding that more consequences arise when you refuse a chemical test may help you weigh your options more accurately.

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D.E. "Skip" Brutkiewicz, Jr., LLC
56 S. Conception St.
Mobile, AL 36602

Phone: 251-472-9552
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