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Legal Penalties for Alcohol and Drug Offenses*
I. Possession, Use, or Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  1. Marijuana
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  2. All Other Controlled Substances
    1. 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.
    2. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)
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