Alabama DUI Offenders with Prior Convictions Targeted in Bill Passed by Alabama Senate
In Alabama a DUI can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the number of prior DUI convictions the person has and when the convictions occurred. In practice, though, Alabama felony DUIs are very rare because a person must receive 4 or more DUI convictions within a 5-year period to meet the elements of felony DUI.
A bill sponsored by State Senators Orr and Reed may be about to change that. The bill, Senate Bill 90, passed the Senate a few days ago and now in the House. If the bill becomes law, it would double the current 5-year look back period for misdemeanor DUIs to 10 years. Also, the current 5-year window measures back from the date of the conviction of the present offense when computing the number of prior convictions within 5 years. The new bill’s, the 10-year window would run from the “date of the current offense,” not the date of conviction. The bill would also provide that once a person has been convicted of a felony DUI, any future DUI by the person would be a felony as well, no matter how much time has passed. Bills much like this have been introduced in the Alabama Legislature before only to fail to pass both houses. This bill has crossed the first hurdle of passing the Senate. It will be interesting to see how it fairs in the House.