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Know the laws governing Kentucky DUI

| Mar 16, 2020 | Firm News

Driving home from the bar after a few beers can have a serious legal impact in Kentucky. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may result in fines, jail time and other penalties. 

These are the answers to common questions offenders have about the state DUI laws. 

What is the blood alcohol content limit in Kentucky? 

The state can charge you with a DUI if you have: 

  • Measured BAC above 0.08% 
  • Measured BAC above 0.04% and a commercial driver’s license 
  • Measured BAC above 0.02% and are younger than 21 
  • Blood test that shows drug use 

You can also receive a DUI if the officer finds that you are obviously driving while impaired by alcohol or substance use. 

Will I receive jail time? 

Kentucky mandates minimum jail time for convicted DUI offenders as follows: 

  • 48 hours for a first offense 
  • Seven days for a second offense 
  • 30 days for a third offense 

However, drivers with no prior DUI convictions may qualify for 30 days of community service in lieu of jail time at the judge’s discretion. 

What is an aggravated DUI? 

Under certain circumstances, the law doubles mandatory minimum jail sentences for DUI. These aggravated offenses may include: 

  • An accident that injured or killed another person 
  • BAC exceeding 0.15% 
  • Refusal to take a breath or blood test at the scene of the DUI arrest 
  • Passengers younger than 12 
  • Excessive speed or otherwise reckless driving 

When can I get my driver’s license back? 

Drivers convicted of DUI will receive driver’s license suspension of at least 30 days for the first offense, 12 months for the second offense and 24 months for the third offense. Some drivers qualify for a hardship license, which allows travel to school, work, and medical and/or substance abuse treatment. 

When the court returns your license, you must install an ignition interlock device for at least six months at your own expense. After two DUIs, the judge can permanently revoke your vehicle’s license plate. 

Understanding the potential consequences of DUI can help you plan your next steps in these challenging circumstances.