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The Biggest Myths About DUI in Alabama


DUI (driving under the influence) is a serious offense. And while DUI charges are common, they can carry severe penalties. With all the myths about DUIs out there, it’s essential to have the facts when facing DUI charges in Alabama.

Debunking common misconceptions can help you make informed decisions and take the appropriate actions to protect your rights when facing a DUI charge. This article will delve into ten of the most common misconceptions surrounding DUI charges in Alabama. 

Myth #1 — You Can Only Get a DUI if You Drink Alcohol

Fact — DUI in Alabama encompasses more than just alcohol consumption. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car who has been drinking alcohol, using controlled substances, or both, or any other substance that impairs their ability to drive a car can face a DUI. 

Myth #2 — You Can Only Get a DUI if You’re Driving

Fact — Many people assume that you can only be arrested for a DUI if you’re driving while you’re drunk. The truth is, you actually can be charged with a DUI even if you’re in a parked car and asleep.

Alabama law considers an individual in “actual physical control” of a vehicle if you can use or move the vehicle. Therefore, if you’re in the driver’s seat of a parked car, you can use the vehicle so that you could face a DUI charge. 

Myth #3 — A DUI Results in an Automatic Conviction

Fact—A DUI charge does not automatically result in a conviction. This is especially true when you enlist the services of a qualified, experienced DUI attorney. Many factors influence a DUI conviction, so having an attorney is crucial when facing one.

Myth #4 — Breathalyzer Tests are Always Accurate

Fact—While television shows give the illusion that breathalyzer tests are always accurate, that’s not always the case. It’s common for law enforcement officers to administer the tests incorrectly or for the tests to malfunction or be defective.

Myth #5 — Field Sobriety Tests are Mandatory

Fact—Field sobriety tests are used to determine whether a person’s physical and cognitive abilities indicate that they are under the influence. However, these tests are not reliable indicators of intoxication. Factors like fatigue, nervousness, environmental conditions, and physical conditions can all affect a person’s performance during a field sobriety test.

That said, no laws in Alabama require drivers to submit to a field sobriety test. You can inform the officer that you do not consent to one and would like to speak to your attorney instead.

Myth #6 — Blood Alcohol Tests are Mandatory

Fact — If police believe you may be under the influence during a traffic stop, they will likely ask you to submit to a test that will determine your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) at the time of the traffic stop. Although Alabama law has implied consent, you can legally refuse to submit to a blood-alcohol test.

It’s important to note that even if you believe refusing a BAC test will help your case, that is also a myth. If you refuse the BAC test, you can face a 90-day license suspension if it is your first offense or up to a year if you have a prior DUI conviction.

Myth #7 — DUIs Only Remain on Your Record for Five Years

Fact — A DUI cannot be expunged from your record. And if you have a second offense within ten years, it’s treated as a subsequent offense. After ten years, it will be treated as a first offense again.

The truth to this myth is when it comes to your car insurance. Typically, insurance rates will increase after a DUI conviction for five years.

Myth #8 — DUIs Always Result in Jail Time

Fact — Even with the significant penalties for a DUI conviction in Alabama, jail time isn’t always a requirement. Sometimes, an individual would benefit more from entering a drug or alcohol treatment program or taking part in community service.

Myth #9 — DUI Charges are Easy to Fight

Fact—Although certain circumstances could lead to the dismissal of DUI charges, it’s not easy. DUI cases are taken very seriously, and the prosecution typically has strong evidence, such as BAC test results, sobriety test results, and the officer’s testimony. To successfully fight a DUI charge, you will typically need an experienced DUI attorney who can identify any issues that can lead to reduced charges or a dismissal.

Myth #10 — You Don’t Need an Attorney for a DUI Charge

Fact — While you have the right to represent yourself when fighting a DUI charge, that may not be the best option. Due to the complexities of DUI law, navigating the legal process without an attorney increases the chance of making a mistake that could hurt your case. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can assess the specifics of your case, identify possible defenses, negotiate with prosecutors, and advocate for the best possible outcome.

Turn to Brackin Law Firm for Expert Legal Representation for Your DUI Charge

With the significant consequences of a DUI conviction in Alabama, it’s essential to be able to separate fact from fiction when it comes to DUI laws. Remember, the best way to avoid a DUI charge is to avoid driving under the influence and always have a designated driver or a plan for alternative transportation. If you face DUI charges, having an experienced DUI attorney is essential.

The experienced attorneys at Brackin Law Firm have been serving Baldwin County residents for almost four decades. We understand that our clients come to us during some of the most challenging times of their lives, and we strive to make the process as easy as possible. Our team will work with you to provide the best results possible.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let us fight for your future.

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