Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Kentucky. Most DUI convictions carry mandatory jail time, large fines, and driver’s license suspensions.
In Kentucky, there are 6 ways an individual can be convicted of DUI. The most common are listed below:
- Driving while impaired
- Driving with a prohibited blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more
- Driving under the influence of drugs, whether a prescription for the drug exists or not
- Driving under the influence of a combination of alcohol and drugs.
These are the most common DUI’s and make up probably 90% of the convictions.
Penalties increase when any DUI is committed with a prior conviction within 10 years measured from violation date to violation date. Penalties are as follows:
- First offense-$200.00 to $500.00 fine, service fee of $375.00, court costs (approximately $150.00), alcohol driver education, jail 2 days to 30 days, and license suspensions from 30 days to 120 days.
- Second offense-Fines of $350.00 to $500.00, service fee of $375.00, court costs (approximately $150.00), alcohol driver education, mandatory incarceration of no less than 7 days up to 6 months, license suspensions 12 months to 18 months.
- Third offense-fines of $500.00 to $1,000.00, service fee of $375.00, court costs (approximately $150.00), alcohol driver education, jail 30 days to 1 year, license suspensions 2-3 years.
- Fourth offense is a felony-fines of up to $10,000.00, Jail 120 days to 5 years, license suspensions 60 months.
If any DUI is aggravated the minimum jail time is doubled and mandatory. There are 6 aggravators in Kentucky, the most common of which are listed below:
- A blood alcohol level of 0.15 or more
- Refusal of blood alcohol testing (first offense refusal is not an aggravator)
- Having a child in your vehicle under 12 years of age.
- Driving in access of 30 mph over the speed limit
- Driving the wrong way down a limited access highway
Kentucky now has an Ignition Interlock system. This, simply put, is a breathalyzer in your car. If you qualify then although there are restrictions, you have driving privileges from day one. The Ignition Interlock is available for people who are suspended pre-trial because of a refusal of chemical testing or of a prior DUI conviction. Interlocks for pre-trial suspensions are discretionary with the Court. If you are convicted of an aggravated 1st offense DUI or any other DUI, the Ignition Interlock is mandatory. Again, the benefit is that you can drive. Hardship Licenses are also available for a first offender only, and only if it is a non-aggravated first. Hardship licenses have restrictions. You may only drive for limited reasons.
What should I do if I’m pulled over for a DUI?
Although there are limited exceptions, generally speaking, do not agree to any blood alcohol testing whether it is breath, blood or urine. Refuse, politely, all field sobriety testing whether mental or physical. Simply put, choose to refuse all testing. Do not talk to the police officer about anything other than your statistical data such as name, age, address, birth date and the like. Always be polite, but do not furnish incriminating information which you may believe helps you and which doesn’t.
A substantial quantity of information is available in a DUI charge that is frequently helpful to a DUI defense. This includes the officer’s field sobriety test notes, videos from all officers involved, and testing conducted on the Intoxilizer for accuracy. This information can frequently be used in motions filed by knowledgeable lawyers to suppress critical, damaging evidence. This can lead to an amended charge or lesser penalties.
Our Experienced Attorneys Can Help
Many DUI’s are defensible. Lawyers at Busald Funk Zevely, P.S.C. have represented thousands of people charged with DUI. Wilbur Zevely speaks at DUI seminars throughout the State. He has been practicing DUI law for 45 years and is the author of KY Driving Under the Influence Law. Michael McMain has practicing DUI law for 37 years. He is an author of several of the chapters of the KY Driving Under the Influence Law, as well. Ryan Beck has been practicing DUI law for 11 years. Jonathan Hart has been practicing DUI law for 9 years and has served as a former prosecutor for Kenton County, Kentucky prosecuting DUI cases for four plus years. Chances of a successful outcome on any pending DUI charge is enhanced greatly by obtaining the services of one of these lawyers at Busald Funk Zevely, P.S.C. Do not go to Court without a lawyer! If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Boone County, Campell County, or Kenton County, contact one of our experienced attorneys today.