Legal Consequences of Drug & Alcohol Involvement*

 

I. Possession, Use, or Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages
  • Alabama state law prohibits the purchase, consumption, possession, or transportation of alcoholic beverages by persons less than 21 years of age. Penalties for conviction may include a fine and/or jail sentence.
  • Public intoxication, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and the unlicensed sale of alcoholic beverages are also against the law. Penalties for such convictions may include a fine, jail sentence, suspension of driver’s license, and/or required completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program.

II. Possession of Controlled or Illicit Drugs
  • Marijuana
    • Possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use only is a misdemeanor punishable by a prison sentence of up to a year, a fine of up to $2000 or both.
    • Possession of marijuana for other than personal use, or a second conviction for personal use is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of from one to ten years, a fine of up to $5000, or both.
    • Possession of more than 2.2 pounds of marijuana is considered drug trafficking and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine of at least $25,000.
  • All Other Controlled Substances
    • Possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of from one to ten years and a fine of up to $5000 or both.
    • Possession of large amounts of a controlled substance other than marijuana is considered drug trafficking and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.

III. Sale of Controlled or Illicit Drugs
  • The sale of any controlled substance is a felony punishable by a prison term of two to twenty years or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • The sale or distribution of a controlled substance by a person 18 years old or older to a person under the age of 18 is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of ten years to life imprisonment or a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
  • The sale or distribution of a controlled substance within a three-mile radius of any school or college is punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of five years in addition to other penalties described above.
  • The sale of large amounts of controlled drugs is considered drug trafficking and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of three years and fines ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.
  • Federal drug trafficking penalties for first offenses range from up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000 to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000,000 depending on the illicit drug involved. Repeat offense penalties range from up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $200,000, to mandatory life imprisonment and a fine of up to $8,000,000 depending on the illicit drug involved.

*Prepared by USA Substance Program with Assistance from the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office. (Last Review Date: April 2010)