A DUI diversion program is a way for you to stay out of jail in Alabama if you have been convicted of a DUI or driving under the influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving is a serious offense in Alabama, where 246 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in 2018.
Whether you consumed enough alcohol to be considered legally drunk, which is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol content), or are intoxicated by ingesting drugs, being arrested, and convicted of DUI means you are an unsafe driver should not have opted to get behind the wheel. The penalties you face are jail time, loss of a license, probation, treatment, fines, and possibly probation.
There are pretrial diversion programs that you can enter voluntarily. The advantage is that your charges could be dismissed and eventually expunged. Generally, only first-time offenders and drivers who did not injure others while under the influence are eligible.
Pretrial Diversion Programs (PDP)
In 2013, the Alabama legislature determined diversion programs should be an alternative to jail or license forfeiture. The way it works is the driver pleads guilty to DUI, and an interlock device is installed on his vehicle for at least six months, or the length of the diversion program.
You will pay for the installation and a monthly fee to maintain the device. If the diversion program lasts 12 to 24 months, that could mean a cost of $3,000 plus other fees.
An interlock device requires you to pull over on the side of the road at intermittent intervals and blow into the interlock device to see if you are intoxicated. If you fail to do so, the car will not start. Your BAC must remain under .02%.
Other diversion programs include:
- Community Service
- Color coding – Used by law enforcement to test for any alcohol consumption
- Victim impact panel – This helps offenders understand the long-term effects of DUI from those harmed
Complete the program and pay your court costs, and your DUI case may be dismissed. If you do not complete the program, your conviction will stick along with all associated fees. The DUI will remain on your record permanently.
Driver’s License Suspension
When a field test comes back intoxicated, the driver will have his license confiscated and undergo a license suspension for some time, even if he is enrolled in a diversion program. Unless a driver takes the legal steps to stop a driver’s license suspension, it will be suspended for 90 days or longer, depending on their previous arrests and convictions.
Your license will remain suspended unless and until you show proof of successful competition along with an SR-22 proof of insurance before you can have your license reinstated.
Your Experienced Alabama DUI Attorney
A DUI conviction can haunt you for quite some time, and you will need an experienced Alabama DUI attorney to help you make decisions at this time. A conviction will stay on your record forever unless you understand your options, which may mean your DUI record will eventually be expunged.
On the other hand, entering a PDP means you waive your right to a speedy trial, to a hearing before a jury, and of the right to appeal. You may also lose your right to keeping medical records private or records in the diversion program private. And the programs may cost thousands of dollars to enter and complete.
You will need to decide quickly. Together with attorney Jason Darley, we can explore whether your arrest was valid and constitutional. We will determine if the breath test was professionally administered. Often, we find mistakes were made in the field, which we can argue to your benefit.
Before you agree to plead guilty to DUI and a diversion program, there are many things to consider. Attorney Jason Darley has helped countless individuals facing these charges make the decision that’s best for them and their long-term financial future. Call our office for a free consultation at (251) 441-7772.
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