Driving Under Influence (DUI)

Driving Under Influence (DUI)

Kentucky driving under the influence (DUI) laws cover driving while under the influence of alcohol or any substance or substances which impair driving ability, such as illegal drugs, prescription drugs, inhalants, and over the counter medications.

Within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, drivers age 21 years or older are considered to be under the influence when alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 are considered to be under the influence when alcohol concentration is 0.02 or higher. Commercial drivers are considered to be under the influence when alcohol concentration is 0.04 or higher.

Kentucky has an “implied consent” law, which means that if you are arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content. If you refuse to submit to a test, you will be subject to a fine and an automatic license suspension. The test must be completed within two hours of when you were last driving.

Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 189A.010 and KRS 189A.070 provide the penalties when a defendant has been committed of a DUI offense within a five year period.

Fine Jail Time License
First Offense $200 to $500 2 to 30 days
(4 days**)
30 to 120 days 90 days
Second Offense $350 to $500 7 days to 6 months
(14 days**)
12 to 18 months 1 year
Third Offense $500 to $1000 30 days to 12 months
(60 days**)
24 to 36 months 1 year
Fourth Offense $1000 to $10000 1 year to 5 years
(120 days**)
60 months 1 year

** Aggravating circumstances minimum jail time

KRS 189A.010 imposes additional penalties when “aggravating circumstances” are present. These circumstances include operating a motor vehicle:

  • Above 30 mph over the speed limit
  • In the wrong direction on a limited access highway
  • Causing an accident which results in death or serious physical injury
  • Alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more within 2 hours after operating
  • Refusing to submit to testing
  • Transporting passengers under 12 years of age

When aggravating circumstances are found to be present, jail times are doubled and service of the minimum jail time is mandatory with no possibility of an early release.

Most people are aware of the immediate potential consequences of a DUI conviction, such as a suspended driver’s license, fines, jail time, probation and alcohol abuse classes. However, a DUI conviction can have long term consequences as well. These include, but are not limited to, the ability to keep a job, obtain a new job, and educational or professional ramifications.

Despite Kentucky’s stringent DUI laws, options are available to individuals charged with a DUI. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help, contact us to set up a free consultation.

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