Friday Fallout: Stopped For DUI? Here’s What Not To Do

stopped for drunk driving AlabamaNo one wants to be stopped for drunk driving, but it’s one of the many risks you take when you drink and drive. When you see those lights in your rear window or you drive through a checkpoint and you’ve been drinking, there aren’t very many options available other than pull over and see what happens.

But one offender in Alabama didn’t think he was out of options when he was pulled over recently. He was stopped in the center lane of an interstate when a police officer pulled up behind him. When the officer walked up to the car he found the offender passed out behind the wheel of the car.

When he woke up and the officer tried to question him, he decided that was a good time to flee the scene, and he ran straight for a bridge and jumped. He fell almost twenty-five feet, and because of that fall he was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

An interstate isn’t a safe place to pull over, especially in the center lane, and jumping over a bridge because you’re stopped for drunk driving is a really bad idea. Instead of running away, any offender in Alabama would be much better off if they just accepted the drunk driving penalties as they stand and worked their way toward a positive outcome.

At the very least, Alabama residents should be glad their state has ignition interlock law that allows them to drive again after a conviction. Right now an ignition interlock is required for any first time offender who is stopped for drunk driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher, repeat offenders, any offender who refuses a breathalyzer test, or an offender who is stopped for drunk driving with a passenger under the age of 14. People who cause crashes that result in injury to another person because of drunk driving will also be required to install an interlock.

Drunk driving is a choice. Let’s hope this offender lives to make a better choice the time he’s able to drive.

No One Is Laughing At The Clown Arrested For DUI In Alabama

DUI in Alabama

Image from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page

All the world loves a clown, right? Wrong. There are some people who are genuinely afraid of clowns. Although full-blown coulrophobia, the term for an irrational fear of clowns, is rare, it’s also an actual thing that a lot of people suffer from. Hopefully the police officers at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Birmingham don’t have that fear, because they just arrested a clown for DUI in Alabama.

On February 7th a deputy was on routine patrol when the driver of a car flagged him down. The driver told him that he saw a red Ford SUV swerving from lane to lane, and when the deputy spotted the truck during a search, the erratic driving he witnessed was enough to make him pull him over.

When he approached the car, he saw a clown sitting in the drivers seat. The officer began questioning the clown by him whether or not he’d been drinking. The clown stated that he’d had a few drinks. Upon further questioning, it was also discovered that the clown had a warrant out for his arrest on a felony charge of Theft of Property 1st Degree.

The officer arrested the clown for DUI in Alabama as well as the outstanding warrant, and now he’s cooling his heels in the Jefferson County Jail. For their part, the officers at Jefferson County obviously have a funny bone, because they publicized a photo on Facebook of the clown being processed for DUI with the caption, “There’s nothing funny about DUI.”

All clown jokes and clown car references aside, the police are right, there’s nothing funny about DUI. If this is his first offense in Alabama, this clown is facing fines up to $2,100, a 90 day driver’s license suspension, and a DUI court referral program.

Everyone does not love a clown, and police love them even less when they are drunk behind the wheel, so if you want to get home safe and sound, make sure you skip the costumes and drive sober.

DUI Laws and Ignition Interlocks In Alabama

DUI Stop in AlabamaAlabama may be among the states with the lowest alcohol consumption per person, coming in at 1.97 gallons compared to the highest consumption of 4.4 gallons in New Hampshire, but there are still people driving under the influence (DUI) in Alabama. In 2012, they joined other states in the effort to reduce DUI by utilizing ignition interlocks in Alabama for repeat offenders and first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of .15 and over.

If you’re a first offender convicted of driving under the influence in Alabama, you’ll be subject to the following penalties:

  • You could receive up to 1 year in jail
  • You’ll pay fines ranging from $500 to $2000 plus $100 designated for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
  • Will be required to attend DUI treatment and education program
  • If you have a blood-alcohol level of .08 to .15, you’ll receive a 90-day license suspension unless you opt to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle for 6 months
  • If you have a blood-alcohol level of .15 or greater, you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock device for 2 years
  • If you have a passenger under the age of 14 in your vehicle or cause injury to a third party, you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock for 2 years after a 45 day period of license suspension

Offenders who receive a second DUI in Alabama will receive the following penalties:

  • You could spend 48 hours up to 1 year in jail
  • Spend 20 days doing community service
  • Pay fines up to $5000 plus $100 toward Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
  • With a blood-alcohol level of .08 or greater, there is a mandatory ignition interlock requirement and a 1-year license suspension. After 45 days of license suspension, you may be granted a stay if you install the ignition interlock for 2 years
  • If your blood alcohol level is .15 or above or if you have a child under the age of 14 in your vehicle, there is a mandatory installation of the ignition interlock for a period of 4 years

2012 data showed 286 arrests in Alabama for driving under the influence and 257 alcohol-related fatalities. Of those crashes resulting in death, 67.4% involved a driver with a blood-alcohol level of .15 or over. Hopefully, with the addition of ignition interlock laws, Alabama can reduce the amount of DUI crashes in the state.


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