Huntsville police cracking down on drunk drivers during holiday - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville police cracking down on drunk drivers during holiday weekend

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville Police are ramping up their presence along roadways this holiday weekend, with saturation patrols and safety checkpoints.

Officers are targeting locations designated as "hotspots" because of the high number of crashes and drunk driving arrests made in those areas.

The checkpoints could take place any time through New Year's Eve.

If you come across one of them, you will need to have your driver's license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration on hand.

Officers will also be checking that everyone in the car is buckled up.

Here is a list of the announced checkpoint locations in Huntsville:

University Drive at Jordan Lane
US 72 East between Epworth and Moore's Mill Road
Oakwood Avenue and Pulaski Pike
North Memorial Parkway at Sparkman Drive
Jordan Lane at Sparkman Drive
South Memorial Parkway at Meadowbrook Drive
Airport Road and Whitesburg Drive

It is important to keep in mind these are potential locations. Officers have a radius around these locations for enforcement.

Last year, only four drivers were arrested for DUI in Huntsville during the New Year checkpoints.

Over the last year, the state has strengthened its DUI laws to further discourage drinking and driving, and cut back on repeat offenders.

The Ignition Interlock Device Law is now in effect, although it has not been fully implemented and in Alabama even first-time offenders can be slapped with this penalty.

Here is a breakdown of penalties DUI offenders face:

First-time offenders: up to one year in jail, a fine between $600 and $2,100, and a 90-day driving suspension. The Ignition Interlock Device can be mandated for two years if the offender's Blood Alcohol Content is 0.15, if the chemical test is refused, if there is a passenger under the age of 14, or if someone is injured.

Second-time offenders: up to one year in jail, 20 days community service, a fine between $1,100 and $5,100, and a one year driver's license revocation. The Ignition Interlock Device is automatically mandated for two years.

Third-time offenders (within 5 years of the last conviction): up to one year in jail, a fine between $2,100 and $10,100, and a three year driver's license revocation. The Ignition Interlock Device is mandatory for a minimum of three years.

Fourth-time offenders (within 5 years of last conviction): a Class C Felony, up to ten years in jail, a fine between $4,100 and $10,100, and a five year driver's license revocation. The Ignition Interlock Device is mandatory for a minimum of five years.

In Alabama, a DUI charge cannot be lowered to reckless driving or another lesser traffic offense.

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