DUI laws change drunk driving felonies - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

DUI laws change drunk driving felonies

A loophole in the law is making it easier for drunk drivers to avoid a felony conviction.

And making it tougher for valley DA'S to prosecute drunk driving cases.

New state guidelines are changing the way Alabama handles drunk driving cases.

In the past, prosecutors could charge any fourth DUI as a felony.

Under new law, four DUI's have to be within a five-year time frame to be considered a felony.

Madison County Assistant District Attorney Shauna Barnett.

"The court of criminal appeals about 2 weeks ago came down with the decision saying that the way the new statue addition is worded made it where we can't use any priors in state or out of state that happened more than four years ago. That's has severely tied our hands to prosecute felony dui's which are by nature repeat offenders," says Barnett.

The loophole in the law changed several possible felony DUI cases in Barnett's office.

"We've had to amend several of our pending cases down to misdemeanors these are people with 5, 6, 8 prior DUI's," says Barnett.

That news is frustrating to Glenda Richardson who became involved in "Mothers Against Drunk Driving" 10 years after her husband and 2 young boys were killed by a drunk driver.

"Its a slap in the face to the victim's of drunk driving."

These pictures represent a small fraction of those killed by someone who drank too much.

A grim reminder of the risks of mixing alcohol with the road.

Even more disturbing, now, a change in drunk driving laws.

One prosecutors say needs to be toughened.

"Repeat offenders are the truly dangerous people we need to keep off the street for a long time because they have proven they can't be trusted," says Barnett.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King will ask the legislature to change the law in 2008.

If you want more information on ways you can lobby to have the law changed, contact Mothers Against Drunk Driving at 1-800-635-0722.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Amber Alert canceled for Pickens County boy

    Amber Alert canceled for Pickens County boy

    Saturday, March 25 2017 6:31 PM EDT2017-03-25 22:31:56 GMT

    Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has CANCELLED the Amber Alert for 11-month-old Christian Clay Perkins. 

    More >>

    Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has CANCELLED the Amber Alert for 11-month-old Christian Clay Perkins. 

    More >>
  • David: Showers and storms ongoing across the Valley

    David: Showers and storms ongoing across the Valley

    Saturday, March 25 2017 5:50 PM EDT2017-03-25 21:50:37 GMT

    Showers and storms will be ongoing across the Valley this evening. The most widespread rain will be over northeastern AL, but additional scattered storms will track into the Shoals from the west. That round of stormy weather will head east with time and should be out of the Valley after midnight. The threat for severe storms is low, but a few strong storms are possible. 

    More >>

    Showers and storms will be ongoing across the Valley this evening. The most widespread rain will be over northeastern AL, but additional scattered storms will track into the Shoals from the west. That round of stormy weather will head east with time and should be out of the Valley after midnight. The threat for severe storms is low, but a few strong storms are possible. 

    More >>
  • New details released in Guntersville double shooting

    New details released in Guntersville double shooting

    Saturday, March 25 2017 2:07 PM EDT2017-03-25 18:07:30 GMT
    Guntersville police say two people were shot at this mobile home area on Edmonds Road. (Source: WAFF)Guntersville police say two people were shot at this mobile home area on Edmonds Road. (Source: WAFF)

    The Guntersville Police Department have released news details on a double shooting late Friday afternoon that left one man dead.

    The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m., when police from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a 911 call reporting two people had been shot on Edmonds Road.

    More >>

    The Guntersville Police Department have released news details on a double shooting late Friday afternoon that left one man dead.

    The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m., when police from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a 911 call reporting two people had been shot on Edmonds Road.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly