What happens if I get pulled over and my breath analyzer is .08? 4 Answers as of April 22, 2011

I was driving in a nearby city that I don't drive very often and am not familiar with. I was on a one way street and didn't realize it. An officer pulled me over and gave me a breath analyzer; it was .08. I told the officer I had waited an hour after my last drink before I drove. This is my first offense; I have a clean record. What will the outcome be? Should I get a public defender or a lawyer to represent me. What will my fees be? Will I loose my license? How will I be affected?

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Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
A reading of .08 blood alcohol level is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol. (A person can be convicted of DUI even though the level is below .08) The first time offense for a DUI carries a penalty of up to one (1) year in the metro jail, a fine of not less than $600.00 nor more than $2,100. Normally a person convicted of DUI, first time offense is granted a suspended sentence.In addition, they are referred to a probation officer to undergo an evaluation and to complete any program deemed appropriate, may be subjected to random alcohol and/or drug screens, andthey must attend the DUI school and the victim's impact panel. If your BAC level was .08 or higher you will likely have your driving privileges suspended by the Department of Public Safety for a period of not less than 60 days. If convicted of a DUI your driving privileges are suspended for a period of 90 days for a first time offense. Whether you hire an attorney or not would be a consideration that you should make, but the charge is a severe charge and a record of a DUI conviction is permanent. If you are not able to afford to pay for the services of an atorney, on account of being indigent, you may petition the court and request that you be represented by a court-appointed attorney.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/22/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to get a good behavior disposition, where you admit, stay out of trouble for the required time, and the case is finally dismissed. It sounds like a valid stop because you were headed the wrong way. However, there may be other defenses available to you. You should do what you can to obtain counsel of your choice. If you can't afford a lawyer, the court will appoint you counsel. Fines upon conviction for a first DUI are $600-$2,100 and a 90 day suspension of your driver's license. You could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, but that is the maximum under your facts and unlikely with your clean record. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/22/2011
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
That is a lot of questions. The officer would have proable cause to pull you over based on wrong way on street. If you blew .08 at the jail you would be technically under the influence. That does not guarantee you were under the influence when you were stopped. There are a number of issues that you need to talk to an attorney about. If you are found guilty, you probably would get a fine, costs, lose your license and have to complete school. Call me if you have any questions.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/22/2011
Beard Law Group, P.C.
Beard Law Group, P.C. | Christopher Beard
Your breath analyzer results being .08 is prima facie evidence that impairments existed. However, PBT are not admissible (Portable Breath Test). You need reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle and probable cause to effectuate a proper arrest. It appears that the office felt he had the requisite probable cause. Your questions are answered below:
1. First offenders generally get a reduced charge if properly negotiated
2. You will more than likely lose your license
3. This will be on your driving record for years and could affect your employment
4. If you are not just given a public defender/appointed representation, you must qualify financially
5. The outcome will always be a bit unpredictable
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/22/2011
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