Drivers attempting to elude police can now face felony charges

Eluding police is now a felony
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 10:14 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Police hope a change in Alabama state law will make them and others safer by discouraging drivers from fleeing from law enforcement.

Harsher penalties are now possible for people who are accused of fleeing from police, something many law enforcement officers pushed for.

Fleeing from police is now a felony in Alabama under several circumstances. Previously, it was only a misdemeanor.

Drivers can now be charged with a felony if you leave Alabama and drive into another state during a police chase, if you exceed the posted speed limit by 20 miles per hour, or if you injure or kill someone while fleeing from police.

Captain Kip Hart with the Tuscaloosa Police Department believes drivers are better off pulling over and stopping their vehicle instead of speeding away from police.

“We hope that it will discourage that type of activity,” Hart said. “Most of the time it’s something as simple as they had a writ on them or they didn’t have their driver’s license, something like that, something minor that can be taken care of on the side of the road or thirty minutes at the courthouse. Not worth risking your life or the lives of others.”

These upgraded charges went into effect 90 days after Governor Kay Ivey signed them into law on June 14 of this year.

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