More Xanax DUIs in Alabama than Marijuana
Most people associate DUI with alcohol, but a person can be arrested in Alabama for DUI without any allegation that the person consumed any alcohol. A person can be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance, or for driving under any substance that renders him or her incapable of safely operating a vehicle. No one is surprised that the majority of DUI’s involve alcohol. And most of us would guess that marijuana is the second leading cause of DUI in Alabama. Shockingly, this is wrong. The second leading cause of DUI in Alabama is actually the prescription drug Xanax and its generic form, alprazolam. (See, http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/xanax_passes_marijuana_as_seco.html). This brings up an important point. The fact that a prescription drug was prescribed to you by a doctor is NOT a defense to DUI. If a legal prescription drug renders you unable to safely drive, then it is illegal to drive in that condition.
If you were charged with a crime as an adult in Alabama, then you should be aware that there are police and court records about your arrest and court case, even if you were found not guilty or the charges were disposed of in your favor. There is good news, though, because in April of 2014 the Alabama Legislature passed a new expungement law.
Expungement is a term you may not have heard of before. it means to zap, clear or erase something. Alabama’s new expungement law provides a method by which people who were charged with a crime but who were found not guilty or had the charge disposed of in their favor can get their police and court records expunged. With limited exceptions, if a potential employer or other entity contacts the police department or court to ask about the expunged case, the police and court must answer that they have no record of the incident.
Employers often reject people with past criminal charges who they otherwise would have hired. When a person who has been granted an expungement is asked in an interview or on a job application “have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime,” in most circumstances the person will legally be able to answer “NO.” Learn more...
Phillip Price Releases Updated Edition of the Alabama DUI Handbook
The latest edition of the Alabama DUI Handbook by nationally known DUI defense attorney Phillip B. Price, Sr. is now available from West®. This new and improved edition features extensive coverage of Alabama's DUI laws, the law of search and seizure, field sobriety testing, breath alcohol testing, and many other topics that relate to the representation of clients accused of DUI. It is a powerful resource for any Alabama attorney who handles DUI cases. The Alabama DUI Handbook can be purchased here from West®.
By Phillip B. Price, Sr. Attorney
The Alabama legislature passed into law a new version of Alabama’s DUI statute, increasing greatly the penalties that will apply to certain cases. Persons who are arrested for DUI after September 1, 2011 and whose blood alcohol is .15% or greater will be subject to the new law. The basics of the bill are intended to address those people who are convicted of DUI who have a particularly high alcohol level in their blood. The pertinent part of the act reads as follows:
“When any person convicted of violating this section (DUI code section 32-5A-191, Code of Alabama 1975) is found to have had at least 0.15 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood while operating or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, he or she shall be sentenced to at least double the minimum punishment that the person would have received if he or she had less than 0.15 percent by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. If the adjudicated offense is a misdemeanor, the minimum punishment shall be imprisonment for 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). 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.”MoreNew Alabama DUI Law in effect Sept. 1, 2011
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