On July 1, 2018 a new DUI law became effective. Gadsden Lawyer Sam Bone has created a DUI Explanation of Rights to explain to those charged with the DUI what the consequences of a conviction for DUI will have or even the consequences for a pretrial diversion plea.
What changes did the legislature create with the new law?:
Changes the current six month “voluntary” installation of interlock on first offense conviction with a BAC of less than .15% and the immediate issuance of an interlock restricted driver license to only 90 days.
Amends the current two-year interlock duration for first offense convictions with a BAC of .15% or greater, or test refusal, to one year duration.
Amends the current 180-day mandatory license removal (followed by mandatory interlock for three years) for third offense DUI to only 60 days.
Amends the current five year duration for mandatory interlock for any fourth or subsequent offense to a four year duration.
Removes any ambiguity in the of interpretation of the “double minimum punishment” provision (sub-section i) when dealing with interlock: “This section does not apply to the duration of time an ignition interlock device is required by this section.”
Removes any “double punishment” interlock requirement when convicted of transporting a child under 14 years of age (sub-section j): “This section does not apply to the duration of time an ignition interlock is required by this section.”
Amends the $75 per month payment to the clerk’s office for four months to a single $200 payment (“which may be paid in installments”).
Adjusts the percentages paid from the $200 assessment to the following:
o 17% to the Alabama Interlock Indigent Fund
o 30% to the State Judicial Fund, but only if the case is prosecuted in a district or circuit court; otherwise, the 30% goes to the municipal court and must be used for the operation of the municipal court.
o 30% to the Highway Traffic Safety Fund (ALEA)
o 23% to the District Attorney
Provides for one year additional interlock duration if a convicted offender is operating a vehicle at any time an interlock device is required, is ordered to submit to an evidentiary breath test and refuses testing.
Pre-Trial Diversion Provision [New]: The underlying purpose of SB 1 and HB 8 was to “close the loop” in the numerous Pre-Trial Diversion or ‘Deferred Adjudication’ programs that are administered by many district or municipal courts by requiring interlock for all DUI arrests that entered a pre-trial diversion program. Act 2018-517 requires the following compliance:
The person accepted into any pre-trial diversion program must install ignition interlock for a period of six (6) months or the duration of the pre-trial diversion program, whichever is longer. Important note: “A participant in a pre-trial diversion program shall be eligible for indigency status if the program enrolls indigent defendants and waives fees for indigent defendants.” (emphasis added) New Code section (v)(1).
If enrolled in a pre-trial diversion program and an interlock installed, ALEA shall issue an interlock restricted driver license and shall stay any suspension of driver license, and then commute any suspension upon successful completion of pre-trial diversion or deferred adjudication. New Code section (v)(2).
Upon receipt of any interlock violation or termination from any pre-trial diversion program, ALEA shall suspend or revoke the driver license pursuant to 32-5A-304 and the subject shall serve out the entire suspension period. New Code section (v)(3)
This section of law has no application to commercial driver license (CDL) statutes or regulations. New Code section (v)(4)
The maximum period of probation under Code section 15-22-54 is extended until all ignition interlock requirements have been met. New Code section (z)
The “50 mile” rule: “….no person may be required to install an ignition interlock device if there is not a certified ignition interlock provider available within a 50 mile radius of his or her place of residence or place of business or employment.”New Code section (aa)
Changes to Indigent Status [Amendments to Code section 32-5A-191.4]
Removal of the 50/50 fee split between the Alabama Interlock Indigent Fund and the convicted offender to all fees paid out of the fund: “Any convicted offender granted indigency status for the purpose of ignition interlock shall not be required to pay the costs associated with installing and maintaining the device nor required to pay any interlock fees …” Paragraph (i)(4)
ALEA shall require each approved manufacturer to provide up to 5% of that manufacture’s market share for indigent use. Paragraph (i)(5).
Any manufacturer who fails to meet the five percent threshold shall be subject to a $500 civil penalty for each indigent defendant that is not afforded a free interlock.
Credit to Patrick Mahaney at Mahaney Law for the detailed list of changes.