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What Steps Must Be Taken

Below you will find information and Alabama State Statutes related to the suspension process of someone that has an alcohol related offense. Generally, the process that the Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety must go through is very similar whether related to alcohol, drugs, or accumulation of point. Below is a brief summary of the steps:  

1. Pulled over and charged with DUI, traffic conviction or drug conviction. 2. As to DUI, you only have 10 days to request an Administrative Hearing or Review. 3. Lawsuit filed against J. Christopher Murphy as Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. 4. Hearing will be scheduled in Circuit Civil Court as to the determination related to the suspension.

Alabama Drivers License Appeals are very complex and many, many factors come into play when deciding how to best approach each particular case. CALL US TODAY at (866) 348-2889 to discuss your case and put our years of experience handling Alabama Drivers License Suspension to work for you.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-300 (2004) 32-5A-300. Generally

(a) The director, or his or her agent, shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon a determination that the person drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while the amount of alcohol in the blood of the person was above the legal limit.

(b) The director, or his or her agent, shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon a determination that the person refused a test to determine the amount of alcohol in the blood of the person as provided in Section 32-5-192.

(c) The director, or his or her agent, shall make a determination pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) based on the report of a law enforcement officer required in Section 32-5A-301, and this determination shall be final unless an administrative review is requested under Section 32-5A-306 or a hearing is held under Section 32-5A-307.

(d) The determination of these facts by the director, or his or her agent, is independent of the determination of the same or similar facts in the adjudication of any criminal charges arising out of the same occurrence. The disposition of these criminal charges shall not affect any suspension under this section.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-301 (2004) 32-5A-301. Report of officer

(a) A law enforcement officer who arrests any person for a violation of Section 32-5A-191 shall within five days after the day of arrest, excluding weekends and state holidays, hand deliver or mail to the department a sworn report of all information relevant to the enforcement action, including information which adequately identifies the arrested person, a statement of the officer's grounds for belief that the person violated Section 32-5A-191, a sworn report of the results of any chemical test which was conducted, a statement if the person refused to submit to a test, and a copy of the citation or complaint filed with the court.

(b) The report required by this section shall be made on forms supplied by the department or in a manner specified by regulations of the department.

(c) The department shall not take action on any report not sworn to and not mailed and postmarked or received by the department within five days after the day of arrest excluding weekends and state holidays, and the driver license of the person shall be returned.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-302 (2004) 32-5A-302. Director; determination; notice of suspension

(a) Upon receipt of the report of the law enforcement officer, the director, or his or her agent, shall make the determination described in Section 32-5A-300. If the director, or his or her agent, determines that the person is subject to driving privilege suspension, the director, or the agent, shall issue a notice of the suspension.

(b) The notice of suspension shall be mailed to the person at the last known address shown on the department's record. The notice is deemed received three days after mailing.

(c) The notice of suspension shall clearly specify the reason and statutory grounds for suspension, the effective date of the suspension, the right of the person to request an administrative review and a hearing, the procedure for requesting an administrative review and a hearing, and the date by which a request for an administrative review is required to be made in order to receive a determination prior to the effective date of the suspension.

(d) If the director, or his or her agent, determines that the person is not subject to driving privilege suspension, the director, or his or her agent, shall notify the person of the determination.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-303 (2004) 32-5A-303. Officer; notice of suspension

(a) If the chemical test results for a person charged with a violation of Section 32-5A-191 show 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person, or the person refuses a test, the officer, acting on behalf of the director, shall serve a notice of intended suspension personally on the arrested person.

(b) When serving a notice of intended suspension, the law enforcement officer shall take possession of any driver's license issued by this state which is held by the person. When taking possession of a valid driver's license issued by this state, the officer, acting on behalf of the director, shall issue a temporary driving permit which is valid for 30 days after the date of issuance.

(c) A copy of the completed notice of intended suspension form, a copy of any completed temporary driving permit form, and any driver's license taken into possession under this section shall be forwarded within five days to the department by the officer.

(d) The department shall provide forms for notice of intended suspension and for temporary driving permits to law enforcement agencies.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-304 (2004) 32-5A-304. Periods of suspension; when effective; duration; criminal conviction under 32-5A-191

(a) A driving privilege suspension shall become effective 45 days after the person has received a notice of intended suspension as provided in Section 32-5A-303, or is deemed to have received a notice of suspension by mail as provided in Section 32-5A-302 if no notice of intended suspension was served.

(b) The period of driving privilege suspension under this section shall be as follows:

(1) Ninety days if the driving record of a person shows no prior alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts during the immediately preceding five years.

(2) One year if the driving record of a person shows one prior alcohol or drug-related enforcement contact during the immediately preceding five years.

(3) Three years if the driving record of a person shows two or three alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts during the immediately preceding five years.

(4) Five years if the driving record of a person shows four or more alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts during the immediately preceding five years.

(5) For purposes of this section, "alcohol or drug-related enforcement contacts" shall include any suspension under this article, any suspension or revocation entered in this or any other state for a refusal to submit to chemical testing under an implied consent law, and any conviction in this or any other state for a violation which involves driving a motor vehicle while having an unlawful percent of alcohol in the blood, or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or alcohol and drugs except that no more than one alcohol or drug-related contact on any one DUI arrest may be considered by the department in determining the period of suspension.

(c) If a license is suspended under this section for having .08 or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person and the person is also convicted on criminal charges arising out of the same occurrence for a violation of Section 32-5A-191, the suspension under this section shall be imposed, but no period of suspension or revocation shall be imposed under Section 32-5A-191. If a license is suspended under this section for having .08 or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person and the criminal charge against the person for violation of Section 32-5A-191 is dismissed, nolle prossed, or the person is acquitted of the charge, the director shall rescind the suspension order and remove the administrative suspension from the person's driving record.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-305 (2004) 32-5A-305. Periods of suspension; minimum periods -- Restoration of driving privilege

(a) The periods of suspension specified by Section 32-5A-304 are intended to be minimum periods of suspension for the described conduct. No driving privilege shall be restored under any circumstances and no license of any classification shall be issued during the suspension period, except as provided pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 32-5A-304.

(b) No driving privilege may be restored until all applicable reinstatement fees have been paid.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-306 (2004) 32-5A-306. Administrative review

(a) Any person who has received a notice of suspension or a notice of intended suspension under this article may request an administrative review. The request may be accompanied by a sworn statement or statements and any other relevant evidence which the person wants the director, or his or her agent, to consider in reviewing the determination made pursuant to Sections 32-5A-300 and 32-5A-302.

(b) When a request for an administrative review is made, the director, or his or her agent, shall review the determination made pursuant to Sections 32-5A-300 and 32-5A-302. In the review, the director, or his or her agent, shall give consideration to any relevant sworn statement or other evidence accompanying the request for the review, and to the sworn statement of the law enforcement officer required by Section 32-5A-301. If the director, or his or her agent, determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the person drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood, or the person refused the test, the director, or his or her agent, shall sustain the order of suspension or suspend the driver license or driving privilege of the person if no order of suspension has been issued. If the evidence does not support such a determination, the director, or his or her agent, shall rescind the order of suspension or take no suspension action if an order of suspension has not been issued. The determination by the director, or his or her agent, upon administrative review is final unless a hearing is requested under Section 32-5A-307.

(c) The director, or his or her agent, shall make a determination upon administrative review prior to the effective date of the suspension order if the request for review is received by the department within 10 days following service of the notice of intended suspension. Where the request for administrative review is received by the department more than 10 days following service of the notice of intended suspension, the director, or his or her agent, shall make the determination within 30 days following the receipt of the request for review.

(d) A request for administrative review shall not stay the driving privilege suspension or revocation. If the director, or his or her agent, is unable to make a determination within the time limits specified in subsection (c), the director or agent shall stay the suspension pending the determination.

(e) The request for administrative review shall be in writing and may be made by mail or in person to the Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division, Montgomery, Alabama. A person may request an administrative review at any time within 90 days of the notice of suspension under Section 32-5A-302 or the notice of intended suspension under Section 32-5A-303.

(f) A person may request and be granted a hearing under Section 32-5A-307 without first requesting administrative review under this section. An administrative review is not available after a hearing is held.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-307 (2004) 32-5A-307. Hearing

(a) Any person who has received a notice of intended suspension pursuant to Section 32-5A-303 or a notice of suspension pursuant to Section 32-5A-302 where no notice of intended suspension was served may request an administrative hearing. A request for an administrative hearing shall be in writing and shall be hand delivered or mailed to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division, in Montgomery, Alabama. The request shall be received by the department or be mailed and postmarked within 10 days of the notice of intended suspension issued pursuant to Section 32-5A-303 or the notice of suspension issued pursuant to Section 32-5A-302 where no notice of intended suspension was served. Failure to request an administrative hearing within 10 days shall constitute a waiver of the person's right to an administrative hearing and judicial review under this article. If the driver's license of the person has not been previously surrendered, it shall be surrendered at the hearing. A request for a hearing shall not stay the driving privilege suspension.

(b) The hearing shall be scheduled to be held as quickly as practicable and not more than 30 days after the filing of the request for a hearing. The hearing shall be held at a location designated by the director unless the parties agree to a different location. The department shall provide a written notice of the time and place of the hearing to the party requesting the hearing at least five days prior to the scheduled hearing, unless the parties agree to waive this requirement.

(c) The hearing shall be before the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent. Upon the hearing, the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent may administer oaths and may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant books and papers and may require a re-examination of the licensee. Upon the hearing, the Director of Public Safety or his or her duly authorized agent shall make a final determination which either rescinds the order of suspension or, for good cause appearing, continues, modifies, or extends the suspension of the licensee. If the hearing is conducted by a duly authorized agent instead of by the Director of Public Safety personally, the determination of the department shall not be final until approved by the Director of Public Safety.

(d) The sole issues at the hearing shall be whether by a preponderance of the evidence the person drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood, or whether the person refused a test as provided in Section 32-5-192.

(e) The decision of the director shall be rendered in writing, and shall be mailed to the person who requested the hearing at their last known address on file with the department.

(f) If the person who requested the hearing fails to appear without just cause, the right to a hearing shall be waived.

(g) The procedures set forth in this article shall be the sole and exclusive manner to determine the administration of this article. The Alabama Administrative Procedure Act in Sections 41-22-1 to 41-22-27, inclusive, shall not apply.

Code of Ala. 32-5A-308 (2004) 32-5A-308. Judicial review

Within 30 days of the issuance of the final determination of the department following a hearing under Section 32-5A-307, a person aggrieved by the determination shall have the right to file a petition in the circuit court of the county where the arrest was made for judicial review. The appeal shall be taken by serving written notice of the appeal upon the director, which service shall be made by delivering a copy of the notice to the director in Montgomery, Alabama, and filing the original thereof with the clerk of the court to which the appeal is taken. The court shall set the matter for hearing upon 30 days' written notice to the director. At the hearing, the court may take testimony and examine the facts of the case. After the hearing, the court may either reverse or sustain the final determination of the department. The filing of a petition for judicial review shall not stay the suspension order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kreps Law Firm, LLC
Alabama Drivers License Suspension Attorneys
502 Montgomery Highway,
Suite 202
Birmingham, Alabama 35216
(205) 824-6545
Toll Free: (866) 348-2889
Fax: (205) 824-6548

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