By, Phillip B. Price, Sr. ©
The Alabama legislature passed two new DUI laws during the 2018 legislative session. The first law (Act No. 2018-546) changed the “look-back” period to determine whether a DUI conviction is a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th and so-on conviction. The look back period is now, as of July 1, 2018, 10 years from the date of the new DUI arrest. Prior law had the look back period of 5 years and the 5 years was computed from conviction date to conviction date. Also, the new law states that anyone arrested for DUI after July 1, 2018 who has a prior felony DUI conviction at any time in their past, will be automatically charged as a felony DUI in the post July 1, 2018 DUI arrest.
The other new DUI law (Act No. 2018-517) has several DUI related interlock changes. It was obviously a result of interlock lobbying efforts in the Alabama legislature. The most significant new law is one that says that anyone who undergoes a diversion program or similar program shall be required to install an ignition interlock device for a minimum of six months or the duration of the pretrial diversion program, whichever is greater”. (§32-5A-191(y)(1) Act No. 2018-517, p. 24.) People who choose to do this can have their driver license suspension stayed and commuted. There are several other interlock changes, many of which are reductions in the time that convicted DUI offenders will be obligated to have an interlock installed on their vehicle.