On June 9, 2011 Alabama Governor Bentley signed a bill that will “toughen” DUI penalties in Alabama. One is the “double minimum punishment” and the other is “interlock ignition”. The effective date will be September 1, 2011. However, the interlock won’t be implemented until September 1, 2012. These two laws will greatly impact DUI punishments.
Below is the “double minimum punishment” law:
Act 11-621 adds an entirely new sub-section (i) to Code section 32-5A-191. This sub-section increases the punishment inflicted on a convicted DUI offender under the following conditions:
If the blood alcohol concentration is .15% or greater while operating or in actual physical control of a vehicle, the convicted offender “shall be sentenced to at least double the minimum punishment that the person would have received if he or she had had less than 0.15 percent by weight of alcohol in his or her blood.”
If the adjudicated offense is a misdemeanor conviction, the minimum period of incarceration is one year, “all of which may be suspended except as otherwise provided for in Section 32-5A-191(f) and Section 32-5A-191(g).” [Note: section (f) requires a minimum period of five (5) days incarceration for a second offense conviction within the past five years and section (g) requires sixty days incarceration for a third offense conviction within the past five years.]
“In addition, the Director of Public Safety shall revoke the driving privileges or driver’s license of the person convicted for a period of not less than one year.” [Last sentence, new sub-section (i)]
So it will become even more important to hire an experienced DUI attorney facing such stiff new penalties.