Kimberly Snapp, LCSW, LCADC, SAP
Clinical Director

37 East Main St.
Paris, KY 40361
Phone: (859) 340-4264
Fax: (859) 972-0899
Email: office@trainingsunlimited.com
  
Kentucky Drunk Driving Laws


(If you’ve been charged with DUI, the law allows only 10 days for your DUI Lawyer to make a request with the DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) for a hearing to save your driving license)



Kentucky is a member of the Interstate Drivers License Compact
An agreement between participating states to share information regarding certain types of convictions including DUI - DWI and related Drunk Driving offenses. If a resident of one state gets convicted of a drunk driving offense in another state, the driver's home state will be notified. The type of action that the driver's home state will take will vary from state to state.



Kentucky DUI Laws and BAC limits


ALL DRIVERS - BAC LIMIT = 0.08%
In the State of Kentucky it is crime for ANY driver to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content - concentration) of 0.08% and above.

COMMERCIAL DRIVERS - BAC LIMIT = 0.04%
It is a crime for commercial vehicle operators to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content - concentration) of 0.04% or above..

MINOR (under the age of 21) - BAC LIMIT = 0.02%
It is a crime for persons under 21 years of age to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content - concentration) of 0.02% or above.


It is a crime to refuse to submit to a chemical test in Kentucky and implied consent laws (see below) are enforced.






!! CAUTION - Driving Ability Impaired !!

You can be prosecuted in Kentucky without driving while you are over the legal prescribed bac limit.

Under Kentucky law, it is unlawful to drive with a BAC limit above the per se laws OR to drive while impaired under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Under this law the prosecution must show that the driver was IMPAIRED by alcohol and/or drugs. The level of impairment is usually based on observations and evidence of driving ability (or rather inability), physical appearance, field sobriety tests and any other relevant evidence which can help prove a persons driving ability was indeed impaired. Different amounts of alcohol can affect people in different ways, what may impair one persons driving ability and make them feel drunk, might not necessarily impair another persons driving ability.


Observations from a law enforcement officer that may lead to being stopped and arrested include:

  • Making a turn too widely or narrowly
  • Using two lanes, straddling the center line
  • Almost hitting someone or something
  • Weaving or drifting from one side of the road to another
  • Driving too slowly and being overly cautious
  • Driving too close to vehicle in front
  • Driving ON the center lines
  • Erratic braking
  • Swerving to correct course of vehicle

You can be charged with an offence regardless of your BAC level, as long as impairment can be proved to the legal extent necessary.



Penalties for DUI - Drunk Driving in Kentucky

Kentucky is a state with a ten year ‘washout period’ also known as a 'look back period'.



NOTE: OUT OF STATE CONVICTIONS
Under Kentucky state law prior drunk driving related convictions will include any convictions in any other state or jurisdiction as well as convictions in the state of Kentucky.


ENHANCED PENALTIES: AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES
Under Kentucky state law, if any of the aggravating circumstances listed below apply to any DUI case then increased penalties will apply.

1) Operating a motor vehicle while speeding (in excess of 30mph)
2) Operating a motor vehicle in wrong direction on limited access highway
3) Operating a motor vehicle which results in an accident causing serious injury or death
4) Operating a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.15 or more
5) Operating a motor vehicle while carrying a passenger under the age of 12
6) Refusing to submit to a chemical test



First DUI - Drunk Driving Conviction - MISDEMEANOR

The penalty for a first DUI - drunk driving conviction in Kentucky:

  • Fine: $200 to $500 fine + mandatory $375 service fee
  • Jail: 48 hours to 30 days in county jail [if aggravated DUI then minimum of 4 days in jail which cannot be suspended]
  • License Revocation: 30 to 120 days drivers license revocation
  • may apply for permission to enter community labor program for 48 hours to 30 days in lieu of fine and/or imprisonment




Second DUI - Drunk Driving Conviction - MISDEMEANOR

The penalty for a second DUI - drunk driving conviction in Kentucky:

  • Fine: $350 to $500 fine + mandatory $375 service fee
  • Jail: 7 days to 6 months in county jail [if aggravated DUI then minimum of 14 days in jail which cannot be suspended]
  • License Revocation: 12 to 18 months drivers license revocation
  • Restricted License: may be eligible for restricted ignition interlock drivers license after 12 months for remainder of suspension period
  • Ignition Interlock: must only operate ignition interlock restricted vehicles for a period of 6 months upon conclusion of license revocation period (excludes employers vehicles)
  • possible 10 days to 6 months community labor in addition to fine and jail
  • alcohol abuse education or treatment program for a period of 1 year




Third DUI - Drunk Driving Conviction - Misdemeanor

The penalty for a third DUI - drunk driving conviction in Kentucky:
  • Fine: $500 to $1,000 + mandatory $375 service fee
  • Jail: 30 days to 12 months in county jail [if aggravated DUI then minimum of 60 days in jail which cannot be suspended]
  • License Revocation: 24 to 36 month drivers license revocation
  • Restricted License: may be eligible for restricted ignition interlock drivers license after 12 months for remainder of suspension period
  • Ignition Interlock: must only operate ignition interlock restricted vehicles for a period of 12 months upon conclusion of license revocation period (excludes employers vehicles)
  • possible 10 days to 6 months community labor in addition to fine and jail
  • alcohol abuse education or treatment program for a period of 1 year (possible inpatient residential program)
  • possible restricted ignition interlock drivers license after suspension


Fourth (and subsequent) DUI - Drunk Driving Conviction - FELONY

The penalty for a fourth (and subsequent) DUI - drunk driving conviction in Kentucky:

  • Fine: fine determined by courts + mandatory $375 service fee
  • Jail: minimum of 120 days in imprisonment [if aggravated DUI then minimum of 240 days in jail which cannot be suspended]
  • License Revocation: 60 months drivers license revocation
  • Restricted License: may be eligible for restricted ignition interlock drivers license after 30 months for remainder of suspension period
  • Ignition Interlock: must only operate ignition interlock restricted vehicles for a period of 30 months upon conclusion of license revocation period (excludes employers vehicles)
  • alcohol abuse education or treatment program for a period of 1 year (possible inpatient residential program)
  • possible restricted ignition interlock drivers license after suspension



Underage DUI Penalties (Under 21 years of age)

Persons under 21 years of age with a BAC between 0.02 or less than 0.08 will be guilty of an offense and will suffer penalties outlined below:


Underage Dui - Drunk Driving Conviction - MISDEMEANOR

The penalty for an underage DUI - drunk driving conviction in Kentucky:

  • Fine: $100 to $500 fine (possible 20 hours community service in lieu of fine)
  • License Suspension: 30 days to 6 months drivers license suspension
  • alcohol abuse education or treatment program for a period of 90 days

UNERAGE DUI WITH HIGH BAC
If a person is under 21 and has a BAC of 0.08 or more, they will be subject to the
same penalties as drivers over 21 as outlined above.






Implied consent LAWS

[Implied Consent Chemical Testing includes Blood, Breath, or Urine]

It is an offense to refuse to submit to a chemical test in Kentucky and implied consent laws are enforced.

Penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test in Kentucky

In Kentucky, if the accused refuses to take a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine, their drivers license will be suspended/revoked.



First chemical test refusal

  • License Revocation: 30 to 120 days drivers license revocation


Second chemical test refusal

  • License Revocation: 12 to 18 months drivers license revocation


Third Chemical test refusal

  • License Revocation: 24 to 36 months drivers license revocation


Fourth (and subsequent) Chemical test refusal

  • License Revocation: 60 months drivers license revocation








Useful Kentucky DUI Links:


Kentucky Drivers Manual
Kentucky SR22 Insurance Requirement
Kentucky State Courts
Kentucky DUI Lawyers
Kentucky DUI discussion forum