Tuscaloosa, AL-It’s the time of year when more drivers will get behind the wheel after having a drink too many. Alabama, like most states, see a spike in DUI-related traffic accidents during the holiday season, so any of you motorists out there tempted to driver after you’ve been drinking need to be warned that the consequences are more severe after SB 319 became law.

Drunken driving accounts for a third of all fatal traffic accidents, nationwide and spiked 4.6 percent in 2012. That’s also true for Alabama an accounted for 275 traffic deaths in 2013, a 1.5 increase from the previous year according to MADD.

One way to curtail drunken driving, during this time of year, is to increase the number of police on the road and set up more sobriety checkpoints which law enforcement agencies plan to do from now until New Year’s. Alabama Law enforcement agencies are also hoping that a new law, which took place in July, will discourage intoxicated people from hitting the roads. The new law will allow judges to order people convicted of their first DUI to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

For those not familiar, an ignition interlock device is similar to the hand-held breathalyzers police often carry in the field. As you may have guessed, an ignition interlock device is hooked up to the ignition and prevents your car from starting if you are above the legal limit.

If you are ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle the cost of installation and monthly maintenance fees will come out of your pocket. According to Fox 10, installation can cost as much as $100, possibly more, and monthly maintenance fees average $75 a months.

The costs for an ignition interlock device

DUI arrests are more common this time of year, but the commonality of the charge shouldn’t give you the impression that a DUI isn’t a serious charge. A conviction for a first DUI can result in up to one year in jail, a loss of your driving privileges for 90 days or more, participation in an alcohol assessment program and close to $2,000 in fine and penalties. A conviction will also go on your record which won’t look good to employers and will work against you if you face any other charges in the future.

If you are facing a first, second or subsequent DUI charge, you need to meet with a Tuscaloosa DUI attorney to go over the details of your case. They will help you decide the best approach to take in your case that will give you the best chance of dodging the more severe penalties. Taking action immediately will give your attorney time to build an effective defense that can allow you to avoid conviction.

When you enlist one of our Alabama DUI attorney to work on your case, you can be assured that someone is fighting for your rights and will protect your best interests. Trying to tackle a DUI charge without legal counsel is a mistake your may soon live to regret.