Yesterday afternoon Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law Alabama Act 2016-152 (Senate Bill 259), which alters the affect a DUI acquittal, dismissal or nolle prose has on commercial driver license holders. The vast majority if DUI criminal prosecutions in Alabama have a companion, civil driver license suspension case, in which the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency attempts to administratively suspend the accused’s driver license for blowing over the legal limit or refusing to take a breath alcohol test. People who have commercial driver licenses face not only the administrative suspension of their regular driving privileges but also the disqualification of their commercial driving privileges for one year or longer. Prior to Alabama Act 2016-152 becoming law, if you had not refused the breath test and your DUI criminal charge was dismissed, nolle prossed, or you were aquitted, then the suspension and disqualification of your driver license (including CDL) would be rescinded. The new law removes this benefit for CDL holders. In other words, if a CDL holder in a breath test case has his/her DUI criminal charge resolved favorably, it will no longer cause the administrative suspension or disqualification to be rescinded. The law for non-CDL holders who were not operating a commercial motor vehicle, remains unchanged in this regard.
Alabama ACt 2016-152 also does some “clean up” work by substituting “Alabama Law Enforcement Agency” in place of “Alabama Department of Public Safety” and “Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency” for “Director of Public Safety” in certain statutes. This is to bring these statutes in line with recent changes made to the Alabama Department of Public Safety and its inclusion under the auspices of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
About the Author: Phillip B. Price, Sr. the senior partner at Price, Flowers & Ward Law Firm. He is a former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), the premier national organization for DUI defense attorneys. He is the only attorney in North Alabama who is Board Certified as a Specialist in DUI Defense. He has been representing citizens accused of DUI in Alabama for over 35 years. In 2012, he received the prestigious Erwin-Taylor Award from the NCDD. He is the author the Alabama DUI Handbook, published by Thomson Reuters ®.
If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.alabamaduiattorney.com/