The Official Travel Site of Alabama encourages you to "pack the car and head down I-65, U.S. Hwy. 231 or across I-10 and down to Alabama's beautiful white sand beaches." There are 32 miles of white sand beaches that visitors can enjoy, and beach communities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores provide plenty of recreational opportunities for people of all ages.
Many of the visitors to these beach communities are college students or young adults who want to take a break from the pressures of school in order to enjoy life.
Enjoying life often takes the form of consuming alcohol. Drinking on spring break is a pastime enjoyed by many generations of college students. It can also put you at risk of arrest for drunk driving if you are not careful.
Local law enforcement officers throughout Alabama are aware of the popular locales for young people to hang out and drink during spring break. Police will often stake out areas near bars and spring break hot spots in order to catch people who are potentially driving while impaired.
Unfortunately, many young people do not know their rights when they are stopped by police. Young people make mistakes like providing more information to police when they should exercise their right to remain silent, or allowing a search of the car without probable cause.
Other young people will go in the opposite direction and refuse to take a blood alcohol concentration test even when there is probable cause for police to administer such a test.
Consequences of not knowing your rights can be profound. If you give police information that you weren't required to provide, this could be used against you in a DUI case. If you don't submit to a BAC test despite probable cause, you could face consequences under implied consent laws that require you to take a test if police have reason to suspect impairment.
After the initial traffic stop, college students and young people can also face serious ongoing legal problems if they were actually charged with impaired driving. Many spring breakers don't understand that a license suspension in a state they are visiting is going to follow them home. If you are visiting Alabama from outside the state, for example, Alabama could suspend your license for impaired driving and will notify the location where you live so your license can be suspended there too.
A license suspension isn't the only consequence of a DUI either. You could face charges that you must go to criminal court to resolve. This process takes time, and you'll likely have to go to court and face penalties such as community service requirements after spring break is over. This could mean traveling back to the area where you were arrested, if you don't live locally.
An attorney can help you to try to minimize return trips, to resolve DUI charges as quickly as possible so you can go back to school and move on, and to protect your record so you can hopefully avoid a criminal conviction that could impact you after you graduate from school and move on to new career or educational opportunities.