DUI Practice Areas And Legal Definitions
- Alabama Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
- Alabama Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Prescription Medications
- Alabama Driving Under The Influence (Alcohol Or Drugs) With A Prior Conviction
- Driving Under The Influence – Manslaughter, Murder (Reckless Murder)
- 10-Day Deadline to Pursue Reinstatement of Driving Privileges
- Other Alcohol Related Charges
Although the charge is commonly referred to as drunk driving, the fact is that “driving” is not necessarily involved and one needs not to be “drunk,” within the usual meaning of the word. A person who is in actual physical control of a vehicle need not be driving to be arrested if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Simply sitting behind the wheel of a parked car with the ignition keys in your pocket can satisfy the driving part of the offense. To most people, the term “drunk” refers to someone who is staggering, incapable of coherent speech, etc., but this is not the standard for a DUI charge. If a person’s physical and mental abilities are perceived to be impaired by alcohol, that he or she no longer has the ability to drive a car safely, a DUI prosecution may follow. There is no need for any objective symptoms of intoxication, and even a driver who does not appear to be impaired to any extent at all can still be prosecuted for DUI if the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood is .08% or more.
Everybody knows it is illegal to drive under the influence of illegal drugs, but many believe they can avoid a conviction for DUI by producing a prescription for the drug in question. This is NOT true! A DUI drug charge has nothing to do with whether or not the possession of the drug was lawful. The legal issue in a DUI drug case is impairment, and the standard is the ability to drive safely. It is just as unlawful to drive under the influence of a properly prescribed medication as it is to drive after drinking too much.
As in most other states, repeat DUI offenders face progressively stiffer penalties, and the fourth offense within five years may be charged as a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
Driving Under The Influence – Manslaughter, Murder (Reckless Murder):
Manslaughter is the criminal charge for unlawfully killing someone without actually intending to do so. When driving under the influence (DUI) is the cause of an accident in which someone is killed, the driver may be charged with manslaughter.
Murder is the criminal charge for unlawfully killing someone, either deliberately and intentionally or recklessly with extreme disregard for human life. When someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes an accident in which someone is killed, and the circumstances are particularly aggravated, the driver may be charged with murder.
It is standard procedure for the police to take possession of your driver’s license or suspend your driver’s license if you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or if you refuse to submit to a breath test during the traffic stop. This is a license suspension prior to your day in court. A separate suspension will be given if you are found guilty. Depending on the circumstances, the suspension could last between 90 days and five years.
You have the right to appeal the suspension of your license, but you have just 10 days to request a hearing. This is a separate matter from DUI charges, and if you wait until 10 days have passed, you will not get another chance to regain your license until the suspension is complete. This is one of the reasons it is vital that you contact a defense attorney as soon as possible after a DUI arrest.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and accused of a drunk driving-related crime and require the immediate professional services and trusted legal advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, please contact The Law Office of John T. (Tommy) Kirk today at (334) 730-4461 or use the contact form provided on this site to schedule your initial consultation.