Login Logout

free countersfree counters

Asiento asignado por el Registro Nacional de Asociaciones Español: Grupo 1º, Sección 1ª, Numero 600121 - NIF: G76556646 ...

Alabama Drugged Driving

In Alabama, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she (1) operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of driving safely, OR (2) operates a motor vehicle under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of driving safely. Ala. Code Ann. §§ 32-5a-191(a)(3)-(4) (West 2010).

Affirmative Defense

The fact that any person charged with DUI is legally entitled to use a controlled substance does not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section. Id. § 32-5a-191(d).

Implied Consent

In Alabama, a person suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol has, by virtue of driving in the state, consented to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine to police for testing in order to determine the amount of alcohol in his or her system. However, implied consent law does not require that an individual suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or controlled substance submit to a chemical test in order to screen for the presence of drugs in his or her body. Ergo, in Alabama a chemical sample from an accused person should only be given on a voluntarily basis, and no penalties or sanctions apply for refusal to submit to chemical testing for drugs.

An exception applies if a motorist is involved in an accident that causes serious physical injury. In such a case, state can take blood sample to test for cannabis impairment. Id. § 32-5A-192.1(a).

Penalties

  • First offense - imprisonment for not more than one year, or by fine of not less than six hundred dollars ($600) nor more than two thousand one hundred dollars ($2,100), or both; license suspension for a period of 90 days.Ala. Code Ann. § 32 § 32-5a-191(e) (West 2010).

  • Second offense (w/i five years) - fine of not less than one thousand one hundred dollars ($1,100) nor more than five thousand one hundred dollars ($5,100) and by imprisonment, which may include hard labor, for not more than one year; mandatory imprisonment of not less than five days or community service for not less than 30 days; license suspension for a period of one year. Id. § 32-5a-191(f).

  • Third offense - fine of not less than two thousand one hundred dollars ($2,100) nor more than ten thousand one hundred dollars ($10,100); imprisonment, which may include hard labor, for a mandatory minimum of 60 days, but not to exceed one year; license suspension for a period of three years. Id. § 32-5a-191(g).

  • Fourth or subsequent offense Class C felony - fine of not less than four thousand one hundred dollars ($4,100) nor more than ten thousand one hundred dollars ($10,100); imprisonment of not less than one year and one day, but not to exceed 10 years (the sentence may be suspended, but only if defendant enrolls and successfully completes a state certified chemical dependency program); license suspension for a period of five years. Id. § 32-5a-191(h).

Other Penalties & Penalty Enhancers

  • DUI with child under 14 in the vehicle doubles minimum punishment. Id. § 32-5a-191(n).

Sobriety Checkpoints

Alabama allows law enforcement officials to conduct roadblocks under the Federal Constitution.

  • Roadblock set up for purpose looking for intoxicated drivers does not violate constitution if carried out with a specific plan and in such a way that only minimal wait is involved for each motorist. Smith v. State, 515 So.2d 149(1987)

  • Turning around before approaching checkpoint, without possibility that turn was in order to avoid delays associated with checkpoint, provides an officer with reasonable suspicion in order to justify an investigatory stop. State v. White,28 So.3d 827(2009).

Case Law

Leu v. City of Mountain Brook, 386 So.2d 483 (Ala.Crim.App.1980) – Driving after ingesting a drug which renders driver incapable of safely driving is a violation of state law.

Raper v. State, 584 So.2d 544 (Ala.Crim.App.1991) – To convict, the prosecution must prove that defendant was under the influence of a substance to the extent that it affected his or her ability to operate the vehicle in a safe manner.

Lunceford v. City of Northport, 555 So.2d 246 (Ala.Crim.App.1988) -- Implied consent law does not apply on private property. Production of a breath sample is voluntary on private property.

Krumm v. City of Robertsdale, 648 So.2d 651 (Ala.Crim.App.1994) – Evidence that defendant was in possession of marihuana was inadmissible. Defendant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, not driving under the influence of both alcohol and a controlled substance. Probative value evidence of possession did not outweigh its potential prejudicial effect

Alabama Penalties

Possession

 

Incarceration

Fine

2.2 lbs or less

misdemeanor

0 - 1 year

$6,000

2.2 lbs or less (second conviction)

felony

1 - 10 years

$15,000

More than 2.2 lbs

felony

1 - 10 years

$15,000

Trafficking

2.2 to 100 lbs

felony

3 years MMS*

$25,000

100 to 500 lbs

felony

5 years MMS*

$50,000

500 to 1000 lbs

felony

15 years MMS*

$200,000

More than 1000 lbs

felony

life MMS*

 

*Mandatory minimum sentence.

Sale

To minors

felony

10 years - life

 

Within 3 miles of a school

felony

5 years**

 

Within 3 miles of a public housing project

felony

5 years**

 

**These sentences run consecutive to other sentences and cannot be probated.

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc... )

Paraphernalia possession or sale

misdemeanor

0 - 1 year

$2,000

Paraphernailia sale to minor 3 or more years younger than the seller

felony

2 - 20 years

$10,000

 

Details

 

Possession of marijuana is a criminal, arrestable offense. For possession of an amount of one kilogram (2.2 lbs) or less, the crime is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. A second offense for minor marijuana possession becomes a Class C felony, carrying  a possible penalty of not more than 10 years and not less than one year and one day, nor more than a $15,000 fine. For possession of any amount over one kilogram, the crime is a felony, punishable by 1 - 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The sale, cultivation or manufacture of marijuana shall be known as "trafficking in cannabis" and is a felony offense. For an amount greater than one kilogram (2.2 lbs) but less than 100 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. For an amount greater than 100 lbs but less than 500 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. For an amount up to 1000 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Any amount of 1,000 lbs or greater is punishable by life without the possibility of parole.

The penalties for sale of marijuana are enhanced if the sale takes place within a three-mile radius of a school or public housing project, adding five years to the sentence for the sale. Sale to minors (under 18) can increase the penalty by 10 years to life in prison, and no suspension or probation can be granted to this sentence.

The possession or sale of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the paraphernalia is sold to a minor at least three years younger than the seller, the penalty becomes a felony and is punishable by 2 - 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Any conviction for possession, sale, manufacture or cultivation also results in the suspension of the offender's driver's license for a period of six months.

 



© DEMETER_MiMo2011-2019